Minnesota lost 3,000 jobs in November and unemployment rose slightly as the job market continued to seesaw around its full potential.
The latest monthly report from the state jobs agency, released Thursday, showed extremely tight conditions that continue to favor job-seekers.
While the state’s unemployment rate rose a notch to 3.3% last month, it remained bound in the tight range it has been in all year.
The U.S. unemployment rate for November was 3.5%.
After adding more than 7,000 jobs to a base of nearly 3 million in October, Minnesota employers shed more than they added last month.
Cuts were most prevalent in construction, manufacturing and education and health services. The biggest gains were among leisure and hospitality employers.
For the 12-month period that ended Nov. 30, Minnesota added just under 6,000 jobs. That’s one of the smaller numbers in the 12-month rolling averages reported in 2019.
Wages in Minnesota rose 5.2% in that 12-month period, up from 4.5% in the 12 months ended Oct. 31.
For much of the economic expansion after the 2008-2009 recession, Minnesota’s annual job growth averaged 30,000 to 40,000 jobs. But that pace has slowed significantly during recent years.
This year, the 12-month rolling averages themselves have averaged around 9,000 new jobs.
Meanwhile, the state’s labor-force participation rate, at 70.3%, is one of the highest in the nation.
For the labor force to grow further, Minnesota employers must attract more people off the sidelines.
“Strong wage growth and one of the highest labor force participation rates in the nation both suggest that the state continues to experience a tight labor market,” Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, said in a statement.
The number of “discouraged workers,” people who aren’t actively searching because they think there are no jobs available, also remains very low.
A version of the unemployment rate that also accounts for such workers stood at 3.4% in November, just barely above the benchmark rate.