Minnesota added 3,300 jobs last month and far more in May than the state jobs agency originally estimated.
The state’s unemployment rate held at 3.3% in June as hiring regained some momentum after slowing down during the spring.
Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), said the data released Thursday held some “encouraging signs.” But he added in a statement, “Minnesota employers are still having a hard time finding workers.”
For the 12 months ended June 30, the state added just under 21,000 jobs, which amounts to a growth rate of 0.7% on a base of nearly 3 million workers. That’s well above the 0.1% growth rate the jobs agency reported for the 12 months ended May 31.
But it’s only about half the pace of 40,000 annual job additions, with growth well above 1%, that Minnesota achieved on a rolling basis during much of the economic recovery since the 2008-2009 recession.
That pace slowed down markedly in the past year and is not expected to recover unless Minnesota experiences a sharp influx of people moving to the state or pulls more people off the sidelines into work.
Already, the state has one of the highest labor participation rates in the country at 70%. That exceeds the U.S. rate of 62.9%. Both rates are being influenced by the retirement of baby boomers, slowing immigration and a relatively smaller number of people coming out of high schools and colleges after births peaked in 1990.
The state’s monthly job figures are volatile and are often revised as officials update their research and data. A month ago, DEED said Minnesota employers added 100 jobs in May. With the new report, the agency said employers hired around 2,000 people in May. The agency rounds its figures to the nearest hundred.
For June, DEED said seven of its 11 job sectors added jobs, led by education and health care. That category led the state’s job market for much of the last few years. It added 1,500 jobs in June, the agency said.
The other sectors that experienced job growth last month were manufacturing, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, government, other services and logging and mining.
The professional services, trade and utilities, construction and information sectors reported job declines last month.