Minnesota sees 5,600 jobs added in MayMINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota saw job gains for the second straight month, adding 5,600 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally adjusted 7 percent, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
By: Amy Forliti, Associated Press, Worthington Daily Globe
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota saw job gains for the second straight month, adding 5,600 jobs in May, while the unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally adjusted 7 percent, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Of the new jobs, 2,600, or 46 percent, were in the private sector, while a net total of 3,000 jobs, or 54 percent, were in the government sector. Those government jobs include temporary Census positions.
“It is significant that we have seen a couple months now of consecutive gains,” said Steve Hine, research director at the agency. “We haven’t seen that since that January and February of 2008, before we started to lose jobs in 2008 because of the recession.”
The figures come on the heels of 10,500 new jobs in April, which included roughly 8,500 private sector positions in Minnesota, Hine said. The adjusted unemployment rate for April was 7.1 percent.
Even though the addition of Census jobs was only temporary, Hine said, the last couple months have been strong for the private sector.
Agency Commissioner Dan McElroy said he was encouraged by the job growth. By comparison, he said, 95 percent of the 431,000 jobs added nationwide were in the government sector, while 5 percent were in the private sector.
Minnesota’s unemployment rate is 2.7 percentage points below the national rate of 9.7 percent.
Nine of the 11 sectors tracked by state officials saw job increases in May, but construction saw a decrease of 2,200 jobs. Hine said construction continues to be a “glaring weakness.”
Meanwhile, the length of the average workweek in May increased to 33.1 hours a week, after holding steady at 32.7 hours since January.
Temporary help was up 14.5 percent over the last year, the largest rate of gain since mid-2006, McElroy said.
“It’s an indication of increased employer confidence,” McElroy said.
The state has added 34,200 jobs since the low point of the recession in September 2009, the agency said.