Minnesota gains 800 jobs in December, more than 50,000 in 2023

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Minnesota gained 800 jobs from November to December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday, marking the sixth straight month of job growth in the state.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.9% in December from November, compared with a U.S. unemployment rate that remained at 3.7%.

The state’s labor force decreased by 6,590 people over the month, the third straight month of labor force declines. The labor force participation rate ticked down two-tenths of a percentage point to 68.1% — this measures the percentage of the population that is working full time or actively seeking work, and is used to calculate the unemployment rate.

“Continued job growth is great news — and sharing the story of employment opportunities will help us bring more people into the state’s labor force,” said DEED Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon in a news release. “Our tight labor market is creating ongoing challenges for employers — but it also creates many opportunities for workers.”

Minnesota’s private sector gained 2,500 jobs over the month, up 0.1%, the state said, while Government lost 1,700 jobs.

Sectors gaining jobs included Leisure & Hospitality, 1,800 jobs; Trade, Transportation & Utilities, 1,500 jobs; Construction, 1,200 jobs; Mining & Logging, 300 jobs and Financial Activities, 100 jobs.

“Construction is continuing its job growth streak in Minnesota — with a job growth rate nearly triple that of Construction jobs nationally,” said DEED’s Labor Market Information Director Angelina Nguyen in the release.

Over 2023, Minnesota gained 50,809 payroll jobs, up 1.7%, while the U.S. was up 1.9% over the year.

“The strongest growth in Minnesota continues to be in Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, which is up an impressive 33.1% over the year,” Nguyen said.

By ethnicity, Black unemployment rate was 2.7% in December, down 1.2 points from a year ago; Hispanic unemployment rate was 5.7%; white Minnesotans, 2.8%, and Asians, 1.9%.

A broader measure of unemployment, called the U-6, was 5.4% in December, up from 5.3% in November. This measure also factors in long-term unemployed, those no longer seeking work and marginally, part-time or otherwise under-employed Minnesotans.

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