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Minnesota’s Growth Tops Nation’s

Seasonally adjusted gain – 5,300 jobs – put us over the top

4/21/2017 10:30:00 AM

It made economic history:  For the first time, Minnesota’s private sector has 2,504,400 jobs, surpassing 2.5 million jobs. The state exceeded 2 million private sector jobs in 1995. 

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted gain of 5,300 jobs in March put us over the top. What is not as well known is that our annual growth exceeded the nation’s for the first time in nearly three years.

Over the past year, the state has gained 48,162 jobs, a growth rate of 1.7 percent. To compare, U.S. job growth was 1.5 percent during the same period. For any sign of weakness in job growth, unemployment, wage gains, or labor force increases, you’d have to look very hard. We’re just not seeing it.

It’s well known that Minnesota will face workforce challenges as demographics shift. A sensible approach is to recognize the growing importance of immigrants and populations of color to the economy and prepare for them to enter into the workforce successfully.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped in March to 3.8 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.

Professional and business services and leisure and hospitality were major gainers. Trade, transportation, and utilities; education and health care; and construction all lost jobs.

February’s wage and hours data shows:

  • The average workweek of private sector employees slipped one-tenth of an hour to 33.7 hours.
  • Private sector average wage rates dropped 5 cents over the month to $28.21 – that is $1.16 or 4.3% higher than a year ago. Comparable wage gains at the national level have been 2.6% over the past year.

Read the complete news release.

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