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The Summer Cut: Employers Trim 1,500 Jobs

9/23/2016 9:00:00 AM

Minnesota employers trimmed 1,500 jobs from their payrolls in August – seasonally adjusted figures – and the overall unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent from July to 4 percent. Compare this with the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.9 percent in August.

Over the year, Minnesota has added 40,629 jobs, a 1.4 percent gain. Go here for the complete DEED press release on the August numbers.

Black Employment Picture Continues to Improve

The employment situation of Minnesota’s black population continues to improve.

As of August, the unemployment rate for black Minnesotans was 8.0 percent – this is another record low – and labor force participation rate is up to 68.1 percent.

What was the picture one year ago? The rates were 15.9 percent and 65.4 percent, respectively. And as the number of white workforce participants has fallen by over 20,000, the number of black participants has risen by just over 10,000 workers.

The American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2015, as reported by the Star Tribune, revealed that Minnesota’s black median household income was less than half the white median household income last year.  But here is something to keep in mind: ACS data covers 2015. Their numbers do not account for the employment improvements DEED has reported that have taken place during the first eight months of 2016.

We’re not there yet. A significant disparity remains, and is one reason behind Gov. Dayton’s initiative to bridge the gulf with a $35 million equity program funding package.

Job Gainers: Health Care and Social Services

Health care and social services gained 19,407 jobs over the past year, the most added in any 12-month period on record. Of these, 12,625 jobs were added at ambulatory care facilities in Minnesota to produce another all-time high annual rate of growth of 8.7 percent. (July was 8.6, and June was 8.3 percent.)

The Allina nurses strike doesn’t impact August estimates, but stay tuned for September numbers. The variables are whether the strike is settled before their current pay period ends and the number of replacement nurses reported.

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