Minnesota employers shed 800 jobs in November, a decline that was offset by an upward revision of 1,000 jobs in October and growth in private sector hiring, the state reported Thursday.

The state unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent to  4.6 percent, according to the figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate was 7 percent in November.

The unemployment rate has continued to fall despite up and down job growth in part because more Minnesotans are retiring and leaving the workforce.

Private sector employment in Minnesota climbed by 2,400 in November and was revised upward by another 2,300 jobs from October.

"The private sector did very well with this November report," said Steve Hine, the state's labor market economist.

But government shed 3,200 jobs on the month. Most of the losses were in local govenrment, Hine said.

And Minnesota's 12-month rate of job growth has slipped behind the national average. The state has gained 39,800 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1.4 percent, compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.7 percent.

“The labor market continues to show steady improvement, with the number of unemployed Minnesotans now below pre-recessionary levels,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “The state economy is growing and outperforming the rest of the country in many key categories.”