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Minnesota gains 15,600 jobs in April

Brian Johnson//May 20, 2016

Minnesota gains 15,600 jobs in April

Brian Johnson//May 20, 2016

Minnesota businesses went on a hiring spree in April with 15,600 jobs added during the month, according to seasonally adjusted data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

DEED officials said it was the biggest monthly gain since September 2013. However, the March numbers were revised downward from 2,900 jobs lost to 3,200 in negative territory.

Job growth is up 1.1 percent from a year ago, lagging the national rate of 1.9 percent. Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in April, compared with the national rate of 5 percent.

All but two sectors gained jobs during the month, though the 1,200-job gain in construction was perhaps slightly less than expected, given the pent-up demand for housing and other market conditions.

Steve Hine, director of DEED’s Labor Market Information Office, stopped short of calling the construction numbers “disappointing.” Still, he expected to see “a bit stronger numbers there,” at least on the vertical construction side.

Hine hastened to add that the construction hiring season got off to an earlier than usual start this year, which may explain the somewhat tepid growth in April.

“Some of it is just a result of the stringing out of the hiring season,” Hine said. “We began earlier this year in ramping up our construction hiring. So that may mean there is less room to grow in April.”

One factor: the $1.11 billion Vikings stadium project will wrap up this summer, so that will have an impact on construction hiring. But the sector’s strength goes beyond the football stadium, Hine noted.

Next month’s numbers will be telling.

“May is really the final say on what the summertime level of employment will look like,” Hine said. “We will be anxious to see what May’s numbers bring about.”

Shawntera Hardy, DEED’s commissioner, said in a statement that the “surge in hiring last month points to continued growth in the state economy. Despite a tighter labor market, employers are finding workers to fill their payrolls.”

Besides construction, other sectors with gains in April include professional business services (up 6,700), trade transportation and utilities (2,800), manufacturing (1,900), leisure and hospitality (1,500), education and health services (1,300), other services (500), financial activities (300) and logging and mining (100).

Information (down 400) and government (down 300) lost jobs during the month.

Construction employers have added 2,701 jobs over the past year, trailing only education and health services (17,801), transportation and utilities (4,820) and leisure and hospitality (2,907).

Other year-over-year gainers are professional business services (2,686), financial activities (2,638), manufacturing (1,881) and other services (163).

Three sectors have lost jobs in the past year: logging and mining (down 1,618), information (down 1,481) and government (down 971).

The jobs picture

Minnesota year-over-year employment growth by industry sector as of April 2016

Number of Jobs Gained or Lost % change from 2015
Total Non-Farm Employment 31,527 1.1
Logging and Mining -1,618 -22.9
Construction 2,701 2.5
Manufacturing 1,881 0.6
Trade, Trans. and Utilities 4,820 0.9
Information -1,481 -2.9
Financial Activities 2,638 1.5
Prof. and Bus. Services 2,686 0.8
Ed. and Health Services 17,801 3.5
Leisure and Hospitality 2,907 1.1
Other Services 163 0.1
Government -971 -0.2

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

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