Minnesota adds 3,400 jobs in October, unemployment holds at 2.8 percent

November 15, 2018

Minnesota employers added 3,400 jobs in October and revised data showed that jobs were added in September instead of lost as first estimated, the state jobs agency said Thursday.

The state unemployment rate in October held at the 2.8 percent level that it reached in September for the first time since May 1999.

The data showed the state’s 3-million person labor force continues to be near full employment. Changes in it tend to be small and volatile. The September figure, for instance, was revised from loss of 1,400 jobs to a gain of 500.

“With an overall 2.8 percent unemployment, employers are working harder to attract and retain talent,” Shawntera Hardy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, said in a statement.

Measured on a yearly basis, Minnesota’s hiring momentum slowed during the summer and fall. Earlier in the year, the annual change data showed Minnesota employers were hiring at a faster pace than the country as a whole.

For the year ended Oct. 31, the state’s addition of 36,450 jobs amounted to a growth rate of 1.2 percent. The U.S. labor force grew at a 1.7 percent rate in the same 12 months.

In contrast to 2017, when health care and education employers drove hiring, the biggest gains in recent months have been among leisure and hospitality companies as well as construction firms.

During October, leisure and hospitality firms added 2,500 jobs, construction firms 1,500 and transportation and utilities 800.

Professional and business service employers, other service firms, government and logging and mining companies all reported fewer jobs last month.

The state’s five metropolitan areas all showed job growth in October, with Mankato leading the way with a 2.9 percent increase in employment.

Evan Ramstad • 612-673-4241

Update hourly