Minnesota employers added 8,500 jobs in June, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

It was the second straight month of solid job growth after a slower-than-usual spring.

“We do continue to see new highs in employment, the number of unemployed Minnesotans continues to fall,” said Steve Hine, a state labor market economist. “We have good reason to anticipate that this growth will continue.”

May's gains, initially reported as 10,300, were revised downward to 7,200 jobs. But in the past 12 months, the state has added 53,779 jobs, a 1.9 percent annual growth rate, which matches the U.S. growth rate for that period.

The state unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.5 percent in June, down 0.6 percent from one year ago, mostly because the labor force participation rate in the state fell two-tenths of a percentage point. About 136,000 Minnesotans are unemployed. The U.S. unemployment rate in June was 6.1 percent.

Government led all sectors, adding 3,900 jobs in June, with all of the expansion in local government, evenly split between municipal governments and public schools, Hine said.

“Perhaps that’s a sign that fiscal constraints that impeded local government hiring have been lifting,” he said.

State and federal government hiring fell on the month. Education and health services added 3,500 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities (up 2,200), financial activities (up 600), information (up 500), professional and business services, and logging and mining all added jobs.

Manufacturing lost 900 jobs, while leisure and hospitality and construction were down slightly. Construction's gains in May were also revised downward, but the trend for that industry is still quite good, Hine said.

“Construction certainly is continuing to do well,” Hine said. “I’m not too concerned about the one-month pause.”

The state's metropolitan statistical areas have all added jobs over the past 12 months, some faster than others. St. Cloud is up 2.8 percent, Minneapolis-St. Paul is up 1.8 percent, Mankato is up 1.6 percent, Rochester is up 0.4 percent and Duluth-Superior is up 0.3 percent.