Minnesota employers cut 5,700 jobs last month, but the state’s jobless rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent, down from the 4 percent level where it hovered in July and August.
The losses are marginal in a state where there are 3 million jobs, but they are another sign of slowing performance by one of the strongest employment markets in the country.
In the announcement of September data, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development also revised its August data, saying the state labor market added 6,000 jobs, not the 7,300 that was originally announced a month ago.
Minnesota has added 35,242 jobs in the past year, a 1.2 percent growth rate compared with a 1.9 percent U.S. growth rate during that period.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state has remained below 4 percent for seven months this year and was again well below the national average, which was 5.1 percent during September.
In a statement, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said Minnesota added more than 235,000 jobs since hitting the low point of the recession in September 2009. “Despite last month’s job losses, six of the state’s major employment sectors are up from a year ago,” she said.
The monthly report says there are about 114,000 people in the labor force without a job. The labor force participation rate is 69.7 percent.
The leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs, about 2,400, while professional and business services added 1,800 positions. Several categories, however, saw declines in the number of jobs last month. Other services (mostly repair, maintenance services and personal care) shed 2,500 jobs; education and health services was off 2,200 while trade, transportation and utilities lost 1,900 jobs. Despite record spending in the Twin Cities metro, there were 1,700 fewer construction jobs last month.
Regionally, the Twin Cities metro, Duluth-Superior and Rochester areas all added jobs; the Mankato metro was flat and St. Cloud was down slightly.