MN and WI's unemployment rates are the lowest in almost a decade

By KBJR News 1

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 7:42 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Minnesota’s unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been since February 2007. The Minnesota June Jobs Report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) shows it was a strong month with 8,500 jobs added.

54,000 jobs have been added over the last 12 months in Minnesota. The seasonal unemployment rate decreased by 4.5% last month. Job growth has been seen mostly in local government employment, education/healthcare and trade/transportation/utilities sectors.

Despite the positives, 900 jobs were lost last month in manufacturing, and 100 in construction.

There’s a new economic trend among some employers which shows the average work week for private sector employees increasing by a half hour, bringing the average work week to an all–time high of 34.5 hours a week.

"You know, rather than increasing hours by half an hour on average, employers could have been adding 35,000 jobs in June (in Minnesota),” DEED Labor Research Director, Steve Hine, said.

Hine says adding more hours to already existing employees’ schedules could understate the strength of the state’s labor market.

While wishing that the industrial sector would have been stronger in June, Hine points out that Minnesota leads the nation in seven of the eleven industrial industries.

He also says that next month is expected to be an even stronger month for job growth in Minnesota.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says June’s numbers show that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains at 5.7 percent.

This puts Wisconsin’s unemployment rate below the national rate, and the state is at its lowest unemployment rate since 2008.

In the last 12 months, 33,800 private-sector jobs were added and 45,400 non-farm jobs were added through June.

Wisconsin was just like Minnesota last month in the fact that professional and business services were also very strong in job growth.

Ramona Marozas