Report: Minnesota Jobless Rate Falls to 5.4% in March

By KBJR News 1

Report: Minnesota Jobless Rate Falls to 5.4% in March

April 18, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2013 at 11:04 AM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- New jobs numbers for Minnesota are giving mixed signals for March.

Last month's unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.4%, however the state lost 5,200 jobs in March.

The unemployment rate improved in March even while the state lost jobs, largely because more people stopped looking for work, dropping the state labor force participation rate to 70.8%.

February's job numbers was also revised in the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development jobless report released today. Originally it was reported that February gained 14,500 jobs, however that has been adjusted to 9,900 jobs gained.

“After seven straight months of strong job growth in Minnesota, this pause in gains is consistent with the slower job growth rate nationally in March and is due, in part, to weather conditions that are slowing hiring in the state,” said Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “Despite this pause in growth, Minnesota remains near its pre-recessionary peak job numbers and continues to outpace the rest of the country in job growth.”

Trade, Transportation and Utilities led all sectors in March with 1,400 new jobs. Other gains occurred in construction (up 800) and professional and business services (up 400). Information along with logging and mining held steady in March.

Job losses occurred in education and health services (down 2,900), leisure and hospitality (down 2,100), government (down 1,500), financial activities (down 800), manufacturing (down 400) and other services (down 100).

In the past 12 months, the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan area has seen a 0.9% increase in jobs. Across the state, Minnesota has gained 46,400 jobs over the past year.

Minnesota was able to stay well below the national unemployment average which dropped to 7.6% in March.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns