The Minnesota Index advanced by only 0.1 percent for the third time in the last four months in October. The index increased 0.21 percent monthly during the first half of 2016 after averaging 0.25 percent monthly gains in 2015. Since July the index has only managed to advance by 0.11 percent monthly. A steep drop in wage and salary employment along with a decline in average weekly manufacturing hours slowed the index. The state’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent for the third consecutive month. A year ago unemployment in Minnesota was at 3.6 percent, a 15-year low. The U.S. Index climbed 0.2 percent for the 11th month in a row in October. Minnesota’s 0.11 percent average monthly increase over the last four months is half the 0.22 percent average monthly increase recorded nationally.
Minnesota’s index was up 2.1 percent from a year ago while the U.S. index was up 2.9 percent since October 2015. The Minnesota index’s over-the-year increase hasn’t been this low since September 2010. The Minnesota index hasn’t lagged behind the U.S. index by this much since March 2010.