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Strong Economy Outpaces US for 4th Consecutive Month

All MSAs saw job gains in past 12 months

10/10/2017 2:00:00 PM

In August, the Minnesota unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

The state lost 6,600 jobs in August, and the number of jobs gained in July was revised downward by 5,100 positions. Over the past year, Minnesota has gained 49,695 jobs, an increase of 1.7 percent. For the fourth consecutive month, Minnesota outpaced the country in over-the-year job growth. Minnesota now has experienced seven years of over-the-year (unadjusted) employment expansion..

  • Trade, transportation and utilities gained 3,200 jobs. Most of the gains were in Wholesale Trade (up 1,500) and Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (up 1,500), and a small bump in Retail Trade (up 200). Manufacturing was up 800 jobs.
  • Leisure and hospitality lost 6,400 jobs. Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 2,100) and Accommodation and Food Services (down 4,300) contributed to the seasonally adjusted loss.
  • Education and health care was down 5,300 positions, with both Educational Services ( down 2,200) and Health Care and Social Assistance (down 3,100) recording losses.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Sizeable job gains for all Metropolitan Statistical Areas, in the past 12 months:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 2.3 percent)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (up 2.2 percent)
  • Rochester MSA (up 1.2 percent)
  • Cloud MSA (up 1.6 percent)
  • Mankato MSA (up 2 percent)

Alternative Measures of Unemployment

Minnesota's official unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story. We can get a more complete picture by looking at alternative measures of unemployment, and by breaking down the rates by age, gender, and race. The numbers below – from the Current Population Survey – are averages over the past 12 months, and do not fully reflect recent trends.

As of August 2017, Minnesota’s over-the-year changes in unemployment rate by race or ethnicity includes:

  • Black or African American, 8.9 percent, compared to 8.0 percent in August 2016.
  • White, 3.1 percent, compared to 2.9 percent in August 2016.
  • Hispanic or Latino, 5.4 percent, compared to 5.2 percent in August 2016.

As of August 2017, Minnesota’s over-the-year changes in unemployment rate by age and gender includes:

  • Teens (age 16-19), 12.6 percent, compared to 8.0 percent in August 2016.
  • Men, 4.4 percent, compared to 4.5 percent in August 2016.
  • Women, 3.1 percent, compared to 2.7 percent in August 2016.

Minnesota’s economy is running very close to its full potential – overall unemployment may have reached a minimum in mid-2016. Slight increases in overall unemployment since last summer are largely concentrated among women and teens. When the numbers are parsed out by racial groups, you can see different trends. There is room for improvement in the employment situation in the state.



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