Construction boost helps Minnesota add 7,400 jobs in April; unemployment down

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Employers in the construction industry helped Minnesota add another 7,400 jobs in April, as the state's unemployment rate fell.

The latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show Minnesota's jobless rate at 3.7 percent in April – down 0.1 percent from the month prior, and still well below the 5.4 percent national rate.

It means that the level of Minnesotan adults who are either in work or actively looking for work reached 70.7 percent in April, the highest labor force participation rate in 3 1/2 years.

Which industries are hiring?

Well the winter's over and construction season is in full swing – which is where most of the new jobs have been created.

The DEED data shows that there were 6,600 new construction jobs in the state last month. Also boosting employee numbers was the professional and business services sector (up 3,400), followed by trade, transportation and utilities (up 2,200) and manufacturing (up 900).

Also on the rise was the logging and mining sector (up 400), but this may not continue with taconite mining companies such as U.S. Steel planning to idle some of their plants in the coming months because of low demand.

The biggest job losses came in Government, which was down 2,500 positions in April, followed by education and health services – down 2,200.

There were also job losses in leisure and hospitality (down 600) and information (down 500).

Available jobs increase

The number of available jobs actually rose by 1.7 percent in April – although this is lower than the 2.2 percent growth rate nationally.

There has been a flurry in the number of new jobs created in Minnesota in the past three months, where 25,500 positions have opened up. More than 46,000 were created over the past year.

The Twin Cities metro area is where most jobs are being created, with more than 34,000 new jobs in the last 12 months (a 1.8 percent rise), with the Mankato and Duluth-Superior areas both rising 0.7 percent, and Rochester 0.6 percent.

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