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Jobless rate falls to 5.9 percent ~ employers cut 13,700 jobs in November


Fri, Dec 16th, 2011
Posted in Business Announcements

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota unemployment rate fell by 0.5 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted 5.9 percent, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The unemployment rate was the lowest in Minnesota since October 2008 and well behind the U.S. rate of 8.6 percent in November.

State employers eliminated 13,700 jobs in November, and October figures were revised to reflect an additional 1,200 jobs lost during that month. The state has lost 22,900 jobs over the past three months, even while the unemployment rate was falling from 7.2 percent to 5.9 percent during that period.

Several factors could account for the conflicting results, including sampling errors in the separate surveys that are used to tabulate the unemployment rate and employer hiring, more people becoming self-employed or contract workers, changes in Bureau of Labor Statistics methodology, and a declining labor force participation rate.

"The mixed results make it difficult to draw clear conclusions about how well the labor market is doing," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "I'm cautiously optimistic, however, that the economy is moving in the right direction."

Education and health services led all sectors in November, gaining 1,300 jobs. Logging and mining held steady.

Job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (down 4,400), government (down 4,000), construction (down 1,600), manufacturing (down 1,200), professional and business services (down 1,100), financial activities (down 800), trade, transportation and utilities (down 700), information (down 600) and other services (down 600).

Over the past year, job gains have occurred in education and health services (up 9,000), professional and business services (up 5,000), leisure and hospitality (up 4,000), trade, transportation and utilities (up 2,200), manufacturing (up 1,800), financial activities (up 1,100), construction (up 400), and logging and mining (up 200).

Government led year-over-year job losses, down 12,800, followed by information (down 1,500) and other services (down 200).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past year in the Mankato MSA (up 3 percent), Rochester MSA (up 1.2 percent) and Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1 percent). Job losses occurred in the St. Cloud MSA (down 1.1 percent) and the Duluth-Superior MSA (down 0.7 percent).

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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