Minnesota experienced a modest increase in employment last month, adding 2,900 jobs led by gains in construction, private education and health care.

The labor force shrank and the unemployment rate ticked upward to 3.9 percent, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

In such key industries as manufacturing, trade and transportation, professional services and finance, hiring was either flat or slightly declining in June.

With an already low unemployment rate and a workforce that is struggling to grow, Minnesota's job growth has cooled in 2015. The state lost 500 jobs in May. The gap between Minnesota and U.S. unemployment has shrunk to its smallest since the recession, which officially ended six years ago. The U.S. June unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.

"Minnesota did regain some traction in June after a slight decline in May," said Steve Hine, labor market economist for the state.

The state's labor force shrank by about 8,000, and the participation rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 70.6 percent, its first decline since November, according to the state.

And pay for workers continues to stagnate.

"There's been no wage growth in the private sector over the course of the last year," Hine said.

Estimates of black unemployment continued to rise in June, to 15.4 percent, according to the state. Job prospects for Hispanic workers, in contrast, are improving dramatically. Latino unemployment is plummeting, dropping to 4.1 percent from 8.9 percent a year ago.

In cities across the state, job growth has become uneven. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Duluth and Mankato have all posted positive numbers in the past 12 months, but Rochester and St. Cloud have lost jobs in that period.

Adam Belz • 612-673-4405 Twitter: @adambelz