Unemployment Drops in Minnesota

Thursday, September 17th, 2009 at 8:37 am

ST. PAUL –Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 8 percent in August, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The U.S. unemployment rate climbed 0.3 percent to 9.7 percent in August.

Minnesota employers shed 10,300 jobs in August. Minnesota’s over-the-year job loss is 4.3 percent, compared with the nation’s loss of 4.4 percent.

“The road to economic recovery will lead us through many twists and turns,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “I am encouraged to see the gap between Minnesota’s and the nation’s unemployment rates widening, suggesting that the state may experience an earlier economic rebound.”

Three of the state’s 11 industry sectors gained employment during the month. The strongest sector was professional and business services, which added 1,300 jobs. Other gains were seen by other services (up 400) and information (up 300).

Job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (down 3,200), trade, transportation and utilities (down 3,000), education and health care (down 2,200), government (down 2,100), manufacturing (down 900), financial activities (down 500), construction (down 300), and logging and mining (down 100).

Over the past year, education and health services added 11,600 jobs and government added 700 jobs.

Jobs losses occurred over the past year in manufacturing (down 40,100), professional and business services (down 33,900), trade, transportation and utilities (down 24,800), construction (down 16,200), leisure and hospitality (down 5,300), other services (down 4,700), financial activities (down 2,400), information (down 3,000), and logging and mining (down 2,100).

In the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas, over-the-year job losses occurred in the Duluth-Superior MSA (down 5.3 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (down 4 percent), St. Cloud MSA (down 3.7 percent) and Rochester MSA (down 2 percent).

DEED also announced the findings of its fourth annual business services survey in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, which showed mixed prospects for employment, sales revenue, profits and wages over the next year among Minnesota professional business services firms. The survey showed that 66 percent of business services firms expect employment levels to remain the same in 2010. About 55 percent of firms expect employee wages to remain the same or decrease. The survey also indicates that 30 percent of business services respondents expect revenue increases, and 27 percent expect increases in profits for 2010.

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