Minnesota added 8,500 private sector jobs during January and unemployment dropped a tenth of a point to 3.2 percent during the first month of 2020, according to seasonally adjusted figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED.

The national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in January, up a tenth of a point from December.

“Minnesota experienced the strongest private sector job growth in January that it’s seen in 20 months, tightening an already lean labor market,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED’s working hard to ensure that job seekers are prepared for in-demand jobs, and Minnesota employers have the tools they need to train their workers to adapt to the changing workplace.”

Since January 2019, Minnesota added 1,844 jobs for an over-the-year growth gain of 0.1 percent, compared to 1.2 percent nationally. Minnesota’s tight labor market is believed to be a key factor in the state’s slow job growth.

Five of the 11 industry supersectors gained jobs during January, four lost jobs and two held steady. Gainers were led by Professional & Business Services, which added 7,400 jobs during the month, followed by Manufacturing, up 2,500 jobs. The largest loss in January was Leisure & Hospitality, down 1,500 jobs.

In Minnesota’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the following regions gained jobs since January 2019: Mankato MSA (up 2.1 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 0.5 percent) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (up 0.1 percent). The following regions lost jobs over the year: Duluth-Superior (down 0.7 percent) and Rochester (down 0.7 percent).

Average hourly earnings for all private sector workers rose by 20 cents to $31.39 in January. Since January 2019, average hourly earnings rose 4.9 percent in Minnesota, compared with 3.1 percent nationally. Labor force participation held steady at 70.3 percent.

DEED also released revised job figures for last year, based on updated data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The average annual rate of job growth for 2019 was revised from 0.3 to 0.5 for both Total Nonfarm and Total Private Sector. After BLS benchmarking, six industry supersectors saw faster growth rates while five sectors saw slower growth rates in annual average change in employment in 2019.

Visit the DEED website to see DEED’s alternative measures of unemployment.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

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