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Minnesota gained 2,500 jobs in January, unemployment steady

ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS—Minnesota added 2,500 jobs in January, according to the latest employment figures released Thursday, March 8, by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January held steady at 3.3 percent. The U.S. rate is 4.1 percent.

"While job growth over the past year was slower than earlier data suggested, the economy is still growing and businesses are hiring," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. Minnesota's job count was 2,946,200 in January.

Revised figures show the state gained 20,116 jobs the past 12 months. That 0.7 percent job growth rate is below the 1.5 percent rate for the nation as a whole.

The revisions — based on updated data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — dropped the number of jobs gained during all of 2017 to 30,606 from the originally estimated 44,200, and raised the December unemployment rate from 3.1 percent to 3.3 percent.

Who is hiring?

Industrial sectors that gained jobs in January include:

•Government employers added 2,700 jobs.

•Leisure and hospitality added 1,200.

•Professional and business services added 500.

•Other services added 500.

•Trade, transportation and utilities added 400.

•Manufacturing added 300.

•Construction added 100 workers.

Who lost workers?

Industries that lost jobs include:

•Education and health services cut 1,700 jobs.

•Financial activities cut 1,400.

•Information cut 100 workers.

Minnesota's logging and mining industry held steady.

Diversity gains

While jobless rates for Minnesota's black and Hispanic communities continue to be higher than those of their white peers, January did bring notable gains.

•The black unemployment rates in January was 7.4 percent, a decrease from 7.5 percent the month before and 8.8 percent January 2017.

•Minnesota's Hispanic jobless rate was 4 percent in January, a decrease from 5 percent in December and 5.4 percent of a year earlier.

•The jobless rate among white people fell to 2.8 percent in January from 2.9 percent the month before and 3 percent a year ago.

The report notes that Minnesota's low and stable unemployment and underemployment means the state's economy is running very close to its full potential.