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Minnesota adds 14,500 jobs; state nears pre-recession jobs peak


Minnesota added 14,500 jobs last month, another in a line of strong showings in recent months that puts the state within 1,000 jobs of a pre-recession high in February 2008, the Star Tribune and MPR report.

The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates that employers in the state have created 62,400 jobs in the past year, state officials report. That's a growth rate of 2.3 percent that compares with a U.S. growth rate of 1.5 percent for that period.

Minnesota's unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in February was the same as January's revised rate, compared to 7.7 percent nationwide, according to state data.

"The state labor market is building significant momentum, with all 11 industrial sectors showing healthy job gains over the past year," DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a DEED press release. "Nine of those sectors are outpacing the growth rate nationally."

Industry specific data from the DEED release:

Over the past year, trade, transportation and utilities added the most jobs, growing by 15,200. The other sectors that added jobs:

Education and health services (increase of 13,100 jobs)

Professional and business services (12,300)

Government (5,300)

Financial activities (3,600)

Manufacturing (3,400)

Leisure and hospitality (3,300)

Information (2,200)

Other services (1,900)

Construction (1,900)

Logging and mining (300)

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The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state's jobless rate fell a tenth of a percent to 5.8 percent last month after employers add 5,900 jobs, the Star Tribune reports. Education and health services led all sectors in September with 5,600 new positions. The government, manufacturing and information sectors shed the most jobs last month.

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In total, the state added 28,400 jobs last month as laid-off state employees returned to work following the three-week government shutdown. The state's jobless rate went unchanged, at 7.2 percent.

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Job vacancies were up nearly 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with the same period a year earlier. Employers reported nearly 50,000 job openings, according to the latest figures from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.