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April Unemployment Figures “Encouraging”

Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 10:03 am

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent in April, slightly below the 8.2 percent rate in March, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The U.S. rate for April was 8.9 percent.

State employers shed 9,500 jobs during the month, after a decline of 18,900 jobs in March. Over the past year, Minnesota has lost 90,200 or 3.3 percent of its jobs, compared with a loss nationwide of 5.2 million jobs or 3.8 percent.

“This month’s drop in the unemployment rate and the slowing rate of job loss are encouraging and may be early signs that our economy is poised for recovery,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “But we remain concerned about the economy and expect continued challenges in the months ahead.”

Two sectors added jobs in Minnesota in April. Education and health services gained 4,700 jobs, while leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs.

Job losses occurred in professional and business services (down 5,900), manufacturing (down 2,400), trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,000), financial activities (down 2,000), construction (down 900), information (down 700), other services (down 600), government (down 500), and logging and mining (down 400).

Over the past year, education and health services gained 19,800 jobs and government added 2,200 jobs.

Job losses occurred over the past 12 months in professional and business services (down 33,500), manufacturing (down 30,800), trade, transportation and utilities (down 18,000), construction (down 16,200), leisure and hospitality (down 6,900), other services (down 2,400), financial activities (down 2,100), information (down 1,700) and logging and mining (down 500).

In the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas, over-the-year job losses occurred in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (down 3.5 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (down 2.4 percent) and St. Cloud MSA (down 1.3 percent). The Rochester MSA held steady.

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