January jobless rate holds steady; number of people working hits new high

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The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the state's unemployment rate for the month of January has remained unchanged at 4.7 percent. That's the jobless rate that was reported in the most recent accounting almost two months ago.

The Associated Press reports that Minnesota employers added 600 jobs in January, according to figures released on Thursday.

“Even with January’s extremely cold weather, hardworking Minnesotans continued to generate jobs,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re particularly encouraged by the breadth of the labor market recovery, with all 11 of the state’s industrial sectors gaining jobs in the past year.”

The state agency also released revised figures that show the state gained 12,661 more jobs than originally reported over the previous 21 months. The upward revision put total employment in the state over 2.8 million in December for the first time in history.

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Mankato region (up 2.6 percent), St. Cloud region (up 1.7 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul region (up 1.5 percent) and the Duluth-Superior region (up 0.9 percent). Job losses occurred in the Rochester region (down 0.3 percent).

The U.S. unemployment rate in January was 6.6 percent. Minnesota has added jobs faster and seen its unemployment rate fall quicker than the nation at large.

The Associated Press reports that weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, a sign the job market is picking up after a winter slump.

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