Minnesota’s unemployment rate dipped another one-tenth of one percentage point to 3.7 percent in May, matching the post recessionary low last seen in June 2015. The labor force participation rate and employment-to-population ratio remained steady at 69.7 percent and 67.1 percent respectively.
The national unemployment rate dropped another one-tenth of one percentage point to 4.3 percent in May.
Annual employment gains jumped in May to 48,068 or 1.7 percent, surpassing the national growth rate of 1.5 percent for the second time in the past three months. Private sector gains rose to 45,227 or 1.8 percent, also above the corresponding U.S. rate of 1.7 percent.
Strong over-the-year growth put all eleven sectors up over last year in May for the first time since March 2013. Annual gains in Education & Health Services topped 20,000 for the first time since January 2006 and for only the third time ever. Professional & Business Services, up 6,200 jobs, Other Services, up 4,990 jobs, and Construction, up 4,375 jobs, also showed large over-the-year gains in May.
Minnesota now exceeds the comparable national growth rates in seven of the 11 super sectors: Logging & Mining, Construction, Manufacturing, Information, Education & Health Services, Other Services and Government
After three consecutive months of strong job gains, Minnesota’s labor markets stepped back in May with a 7,200 job decline over the month, down 0.2 percent. With an upward revision of April’s gain to 16,400 (from a previously announced 15,100), the three prior months brought an additional 28,200 jobs before May’s decline. The private sector’s increase of 27,600 jobs was the largest three-month increase in twelve years and the third largest on record (back to 1990). A correction after such a strong surge is not to be unexpected.
Job losses over the month occurred in seven of the eleven major sectors, with three gainers and one (Leisure & Hospitality) holding steady.
The largest declines were in Construction and Government, down 2,600 jobs each, Professional & Business Services, which shed 2,100 jobs, and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, off 1,900 jobs.
The only gains were in Other Services, up 2,100 jobs, Manufacturing, up 800 jobs, and Logging & Mining, up 100 jobs.
U.S. employment growth in May was 0.1 percent with the private sector also growing 0.1 percent over the month.