Unemployment rate stays steady in January despite job losses


Minnesota's unemployment rate for January "held steady" at 3.7 percent, according to figures released Thursday, despite losing 5,000 jobs during the month.

"Despite job losses in January, the state labor market remains on a growth track, with eight of the 11 major industrial sectors adding jobs over the past year," Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in the release. "The state’s labor force participation rate of 70.5 percent is now at a three-year high."

The revised unemployment rate for December 2015 was 3.7 percent.

The state's January unemployment rate is still above the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. Over the past year, Minnesota has gained 39,916 jobs – that's a growth rate of 1.4 percent. The U.S. growth rate during that time was 1.9 percent.

Unemployment by race

The unemployment rate among black Minnesotans is significantly higher than the rate for white Minnesotans, a trend that has continued into 2016.

The unemployment rate for black Minnesotans had been on an upward trend since late 2014, DEED says, but it declined the past four months to 13.6 percent in January. At this time last year however, the unemployment rate for black Minnesotans was 11.4 percent.

The unemployment rate for Hispanic Minnesotans also increased over the past three months to 4.3 percent in January. At this time last year, the unemployment rate for Hispanic Minnesotans was 6.2 percent.

The white unemployment rate was 3 percent in January, compared to 3.2 percent in January 2015.

Which industries did well?

Three sectors gained jobs in January, with education and health services leading the way with 3,000 new jobs. Construction (up 1,900 jobs) and hospitality (up 900) also gained jobs in January.

In addition to government, seven sectors lost jobs: transportation and utilities (down 2,100), information (down 1,800), professional and business services (down 1,600), manufacturing (down 900), other services (down 300), financial activities (down 200), and logging and mining (down 100).

Here's how the unemployment rate breaks down by metropolitan area:

Revised numbers

Also on Thursday, DEED announced revised job numbers from the past two years. Minnesota gained roughly 12,000 fewer jobs than originally reported between December 2014 and December 2015, which prompted the agency to adjust the December unemployment rate from 3.5 to 3.7.

From December 2013 to December 2014, however, the state gained nearly 15,000 more jobs than originally reported.

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