Minnesota Adds Jobs in January, Largest Gain Since Apr. 2005

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 8:37 am

ST. PAUL – Minnesota employers added 15,600 jobs in January, the largest one-month gain in state employment since April 2005, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Minnesota fell to 7.3 percent in January, compared with 7.4 percent a month earlier. The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in January.

The labor force participation rate in Minnesota climbed to 72.5 percent in January, up from 72.3 percent in December. The national labor force participation rate was 64.7 percent in January and 64.6 percent in December. The labor force participation rate is the percent of working-age people who are employed or seeking work.

“We’re encouraged by the improvement in the labor market,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “The unemployment rate has been trending downward in recent months, but it’s still too early to say whether the state economy has reached a turning point.”

Eight of the state’s 11 industrial sectors added jobs in January, led by trade, transportation and utilities and by professional and business services, which each added 4,000 jobs. Other gains occurred in manufacturing (up 3,000), construction (up 2,100), leisure and hospitality (up 1,500), other services (up 900), government (up 800) and information (up 500). Logging and mining held steady.

In January education and health services lost 700 jobs and financial activities lost 500 jobs.

Year-over-year job gains occurred in education and health services (up 2,700) and government (up 300).

Another early indicator of an improving economy is hiring at temp agencies, which is up 5.1 percent from a year ago, McElroy said.

Job losses have occurred in the past year in manufacturing (down 31,200), trade, transportation and utilities (down 14,300), professional and business services (down 6,800), construction (down 8,200), leisure and hospitality (down 6,000), financial activities (down 4,600), other services (down 3,400), information (down 1,900), and logging and mining (down 1,600).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, over-the-year job losses occurred in the Duluth-Superior MSA (down 3.0 percent), St. Cloud MSA (down 0.7 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (down 3.7 percent), Rochester MSA (down 1.3 percent) and Mankato MSA (down 3.7 percent).

More details on the January unemployment numbers are available at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com.

DEED also announced new employment estimates from the past two years based on annual benchmark revisions by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revisions show that the state lost 45,000 jobs in the first full year of the recession from December 2007 to December 2008, instead of the original estimate of 63,000 jobs lost. In the second year, from December 2008 to December 2009, the state lost more than 117,000 jobs, instead of the nearly 81,000 jobs that were originally estimated to be lost. For additional information regarding the benchmark adjustment procedures, please visit www.stats.bls.gov/web/cesbmart.htm#8 .

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at www.PositivelyMinnesota.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PositivelyMN.

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