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Minnesota loses 100 jobs in February

ST. PAUL — Minnesota employers cut 100 jobs in February, according to figures released this week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The loss, combined with a revised gain of 800 jobs in January, brought total job growth in the state during the past year to 44,714, a growth rate of 1.6 percent compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.5 percent during that period.

The Minnesota unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 6.7 percent, DEED reported.

The state’s labor force participation rate climbed 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month to reach 70.5 percent. That two-month gain was the biggest jump in the labor force participation rate in 13 years. Minnesota is now 5,200 participants shy of having a record 3 million people in its labor force.

“While job growth slowed last month, most Minnesota employment sectors are well ahead of where they were a year ago,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben, in a news release. “Manufacturing added jobs for the fifth month in a row, and construction is growing at more than three times the national pace.”

Job gains last month were in education and health services (up 1,300), professional and business services (up 1,300), leisure and hospitality (up 900), manufacturing (up 300), construction (up 300) and mining and logging (up 100).

Job losses were in information (down 1,000), government (down 1,000), trade, transportation and utilities (down 1,000), financial activities (down 800) and other services (down 500).

During the past year, education and health services led all sectors with 13,433 new jobs. Other job gains were in trade, transportation and utilities (up 8,311), construction (up 6,766), manufacturing (up 6,541), professional and business services (up 5,591), other services (up 3,104), leisure and hospitality (up 2,908), information (up 683) and logging and mining (up 121).

Over-the-year job losses were in government (down 1,618) and financial activities (down 1,126).

In the state metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Mankato MSA (up 2.4 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 2.3 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.2 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.8 percent) and the Rochester MSA (up 0.4 percent).

February numbers for large cities and counties will be released later.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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