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Minnesota adds 1,300 jobs in March; unemployment rises

Thanks to gains in construction, Minnesota added 1,300 jobs in March. Yet the state’s unemployment rate rose to 3.2%.

The state’s jobless figure, which rose 0.1 percentage point from the month before, remains below the national rate of 3.8%.

That Minnesota’s unemployment insurance claims remained steady in spite of the rising unemployment rate “suggests that Minnesotans may be looking for better employment opportunities,” said Steve Grove, commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. The agency released the seasonally adjusted figures Thursday.

Minnesota’s growth the past 12 months was a 0.3% increase.

Along with the added jobs in March, the agency revised February’s drop. Latest figures show the state lost 7,800 jobs in February, 1,000 fewer than first thought.

The construction industry showed the largest job gains with 2,800 jobs added in March. Next was the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 600 workers.

Offsetting those gains were losses in key industries like manufacturing, which lost 1,100 jobs, and financial activities, which was down 600 workers.

Both black Minnesotans and Hispanic Minnesotans continue to see unemployment rates more than twice that of white Minnesotans.