Minnesota employers cut 5,200 jobs in December, but the state’s unemployment rate actually dropped to 3.6 percent in the month.
That’s apparently because the “labor force participation rate ticked up to 70 percent, and the employment-to-population ratio rose again for the fourth consecutive month,” state officials said.
The state unemployment rate had been 3.7 percent in November, when the state reported 6,600 new jobs. The new data, though, revises the November job gains down to 2,600.
Minnesota’s job situation, compared to the rest of the nation, is a mixed bag:
National unemployment is two points higher, at 5.6 percent, but Minnesota’s job growth over the past year is 1.2 percent, while the national growth is 2.2 percent.
Minnesota DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said:
“While December’s job numbers are disappointing, the state unemployment rate fell for the fifth consecutive month and is now at its lowest level since April 2001.”
In December, trade, transportation and utilities jobs did well, and rose the most, with 4,100 new jobs.
Biggest losers were government, down 4,200 jobs; education and health services, down 1,500; manufacturing, down 1,400; financial activities, down 1,100; leisure and hospitality, down 900; professional and business services, down 600; and construction, down 300.