Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.9% in August, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The last time Minnesota’s unemployment rate was below 3% was December 1999. The state’s record-low unemployment rate was a seasonally adjusted 2.5% in both January and February 1999. The U.S. unemployment rate last month was 3.9%.
Minnesota employers eliminated 200 jobs in August after three consecutive months of strong job growth. Over the past year, the state has added 50,904 jobs, a 1.7% growth rate. U.S. jobs are up 1.8% in the past year.
“The annual job growth figures point to a state labor market that is growing strong,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Among other positive signs, the number of unemployed Minnesotans last month fell below 90,000 for the first time in over 18 years.”
Construction led all sectors in August with a gain of 1,700 jobs, followed by government (up 1,000) and leisure and hospitality (up 400). Logging and mining held steady. Sectors losing jobs were education and health services (down 1,000), manufacturing (down 900), trade, transportation and utilities (down 600), information (down 200), financial activities (down 200), professional and business services (down 200) and other services (down 200).
Over the past year, leisure and hospitality gained 11,802 jobs to lead all sectors. Other industries gaining jobs in the past 12 months were trade, transportation and utilities (up 8,328), education and health services (up 8,024), manufacturing (up 7,439), construction (up 6,825), professional and business services (up 5,607), government (up 4,903) and logging and mining (up 8).
Three industries lost jobs in the past year: other services (down 1,030), information (down 724) and financial activities (down 278).
In the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, four of the five regions registered unadjusted over-the-year growth. The highest growth rate came from the Mankato MSA (up 4.3%), followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 2%), St. Cloud MSA (up 1.8%) and Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.7%. The Rochester MSA was down 0.4%.
DEED has added a section to its website that examines the unemployment rate by demographics (race, age and gender) and looks at alternative measures of unemployment.
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 its services, visit the mn.gov/deed or follow DEED on Twitter.