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Minnesota businesses added more than 15,000 jobs last month

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Minnesota added 15,600 jobs in April – the highest figure in a single month since September of 2013, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate didn't change, coming in at 3.8 percent. The national jobless rate is 5 percent.

The commissioner, Shawntera Hardy, said it "points to continued growth" for the Minnesota economy.

Only the information and government sectors lost jobs during the month, a combined 700. On the gains side, professional and business services added 6,700 jobs.

Other ways to look at unemployment

There are a lot of different ways to look at unemployment, though. Here are some specific figures looking at metro areas, race, "discouraged" workers and more.

Metro areas job gains/losses over the past 12 months

Only the Duluth-Superior metro area has less jobs now than it did a year ago – a significant number of those losses were in the mining industry.

Unemployment rate by race/ethnicity

Black unemployment has fallen since last fall – but is still significantly higher than white or Hispanic unemployment rates.

Job gains/losses in each sector over the past 12 months

Education and health services has gained 17,801 jobs over the past year, the most out of any sector measured (and it went up faster in Minnesota than compared to the national average rate of growth).

'Discouraged' and 'part-time underemployed' worker

The standard unemployment rate refers to the labor force over the age of 16, who have been unemployed for the past week and have actively looked for a job over the past four weeks.

So there are holes there. Add in people who have looked for a job in the past year – but not the past four weeks, because they don't see opens jobs that fit their qualifications – the rate goes up to 4.0 percent. (It's the blue line on the graph below.)

If you add that, plus people who haven't looked for a job in the past four weeks for other reasons, as well as part-time workers who want full-time jobs, it goes up even higher – to 8.0 percent total for the month of April (the purple line above).

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Minnesota adds more than 15,000 jobs, unemployement dips

January unemployment dropped a tenth of a percent in Minnesota as employers added another 15,500 jobs. The unemployment rate for the state is at 5.6 percent. Minnesota's jobless rate is well below the national figure, but job growth is slower than the nation as a whole.

More business owners see improvement in Minnesota economy

31 percent of Minnesota business owners and managers surveyed by the state chamber of commerce and a public relations firm see the state's economy improving. That's up from just 13 percent in last year's Business Barometer survey. As for what obstacles they face, high taxes was the most common concern followed by health care costs and finding qualified workers.