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MAPLEWOOD, MN – Minnesota employers added 9,500 jobs in December, according to figures released this week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The December job gains combined with November figures that were revised upward by 1,700 jobs bring total job growth in Minnesota to 45,900 in the past year, a growth rate of 1.7 percent compared with a national rate of 1.6 percent during that period.
The state unemployment rate remained unchanged in December at a seasonally adjusted 4.6 percent, well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.
State Representative Peter Fischer (DFL – Maplewood) said the jobs report shows that Minnesota’s economy is on the right track.
“Job gains are a clear sign that we’re heading in the right direction, but we need to stay focused on helping people who haven’t felt the economic recovery,” said Fischer. “The upcoming Legislative Session is an opportunity to put more people back to work so they can provide for themselves and their families. I’m focused on passing a strong bonding bill, cutting red tape for small businesses, and making sure our kids have access to a high-quality education. That’s a good recipe for growing our economy right now and into the future.”
The December jobs report comes on the heels of a new study conducted by BMO Harris Bank that found Minnesota business owners are among some of the most optimistic in the country about their own future and the future of the economy. Ninety-four percent of Minnesota business owners surveyed feel that their business will either grow or stay at the same level in 2014.
Trade, transportation and utilities led all sectors last month with 4,600 new jobs. Other gains occurred in government (up 2,600), manufacturing (up 1,700), education and health services (up 1,200), professional and business services (up 1,000), construction (up 400), and logging and mining (up 100).
Job losses occurred in December in leisure and hospitality (down 800), other services (down 700), financial activities (down 500) and information (down 100).
The following sectors added jobs over the past year: trade, transportation and utilities (up 11,800), education and health services (up 10,900), leisure and hospitality (up 6,800), construction (up 6,500), professional and business services (up 4,100), information (up 2,200), government (up 1,800), financial activities (up 1,600), logging and mining (up 500), and other services (up 300).
Manufacturing was the only sector to lose jobs in the past year, down 400 jobs.
In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 2 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.3 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 1.1 percent), Rochester MSA (up 0.9 percent) and Mankato MSA (up 0.7 percent).