Minnesota employers added 8,400 jobs in May, a sharp upturn after two months of job losses.
According to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the state has now gained just over 93 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, 10,700 shy of the state's pre-recession peak.
“We saw a return of job growth along with the return of spring weather,” said Steve Hine, labor market economist at the agency.
Job gains were driven by industries that had been delaying hiring as winter extended into April, like construction and leisure and hospitality – which includes resorts, restaurants, hotels and recreational jobs.
Unemployment remained unchanged, at 5.3 percent, compared with a U.S. unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in May. Minnesota has added 43,300 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1.6 percent that’s even with U.S. job growth during that period.
April figures were revised favorably from 11,400 jobs lost to 10,200 jobs lost.
"Last month's figures add to the mounting evidence of a broad-based economic recovery in Minnesota," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "Every major industrial sector has added jobs in the past 12 months, and the state's unemployment rate remains at a five-year low.
Leisure and hospitality gained 2,900 jobs last month, followed by government up 2,800, professional and business services up 2,000, education and health services up 1,800, construction up 1,000, and manufacturing was just better than flat, adding 100 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities employers cut 2,600 jobs.
In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job growth occurred in the past 12 months in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 2.6 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 1.7 percent), Mankato MSA (up 1.2 percent), Rochester MSA (up 0.8 percent) and Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.7 percent).