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At 4.8%, Minnesota unemployment rate drops to pre-recession level

State officials said Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.8 percent, the lowest in nearly six years and matching the pre-recession level recorded in December 2007.

The rate had been 5 percent in September, but that wasn’t calculated and reported until now because of  the federal shutdown last month.

The U.S. jobless rate for October was 7.3 percent.

In reporting the numbers, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said: “Not only does the state have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, but we’re also adding jobs — an indicator of a growing economy on the right track.”

The state said that employers cut 8,700 jobs in September and added 9,900 jobs in October for a net gain of 1,200 jobs over the two-month period. The state has added nearly 50,000 jobs over the past year, today’s report said.

The sector with the most job growth over the two months was education and health services, with 6,700 jobs added.

Biggest loser: professional and business services, down 7,300.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 11/21/2013 - 03:31 pm.

    U3 is the “good news”. But what about U6?

    U-6 is defined by BLS as “…total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.”

    Minnesota WAS going to have DEED calculate and publish the categories of underemployed as above, and an effort in the legislature led by Tony Sertich. It appeared from the legislative history that Tim Pawlenty vetoed it – another Pawlenty-esque gift to the people of MN. Maybe he felt we didn’t need to know the full extent of unemployment and underemployment?

    So now, all that’s available is the “good news” of U3. If someone reading here knows that the state of MN has indeed started fleshing out these numbers, please pipe up here.

    At http://www.bls.gov/lau/stalt13q2.htm, you’ll find Minnesota’s numbers in a national context.

    U6 in Minnesota for 2012 Q3 through 2013 Q2 is 11.2%, whereas U3 for the same period is 5.3%, according to the BLS.

    U6 is pretty well hidden, I’d say. Another thing that’s pretty well hidden is the true extent of discouraged workers – and the U6 above certainly hides that true extent. These are the people who cease looking because they have either learned or feel that it’s fruitless.

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