Health and medical companies continue to drive the growth of Minnesota’s public companies.

Led by Medtronic PLC adding 26,000 jobs and UnitedHealth Group Inc. adding 14,000, the sector grew by 49,239 jobs, or 21.4 percent.

Manufacturing companies added 10,087 jobs, an increase of 3.4 percent. And information technology companies added 2,300 jobs, boosting employment in that sector by 31.9 percent.

Because of layoffs by Target Corp., Best Buy Co. and Regis Corp., the retail sector continued to lose ground, with 4 percent, or 27,552, jobs cut. Target lost 19,000 jobs, mainly through the closing of its Canadian operations, a trend that will continue this year as it eliminates thousands of corporate headquarters jobs.

Catherine Roberts