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Status Report: Employment gains, Moe to MnSCU

Employment gains: Minnesota’s unemployment rate is trickling down.

November job gains in Minnesota helped drive the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment down from 4 percent to 3.8 percent. The decrease ends a string of several months with modest unemployment upticks.

Department of Employment and Economic Development data show the state added 5,000 jobs in November, with 3,400 jobs added in the construction sector.

Education and health services added 2,500 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality industry added 1,800 and financial services added 1,300. Employment levels held steady in trade, transportation, utilities, and the logging and mining sectors, DEED said.

The gains were partially offset by heavy losses in professional and business services, which lost 3,000 Minnesota jobs in November. Eight hundred government jobs also were lost during the month, as were 200 manufacturing jobs.

Department Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said the numbers show that Minnesota’s economy is fundamentally strong and she expects the job growth trend to continue into 2017.

The unemployment decrease keeps Minnesota below the national unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.

Moe to MnSCU: Former Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, DFL-Erskine, has been appointed to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board of trustees.

“I am very pleased to appoint former Senator Roger Moe to serve on the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities’ Board of Trustees,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in written statement Thursday. “I am confident he will help further Minnesota State’s mission of providing Minnesotans with high-quality learning opportunities that prepare them for success.”

Moe served 32 years in the Minnesota Legislature, including 22 years as Senate Majority Leader. He was the second-youngest state senator in Minnesota history when he first elected in 1970.

These days Moe is a lobbyist whose clients have included Allstate Insurance Co. and Xcel Energy Services.

As a senator Moe was instrumental in the creation of MnSCU, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, the Midwest Higher Education Commission and the Environmental Trust Fund, Dayton said in his appointment announcement.

“Senator Moe has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public service on behalf of Minnesotans,” the governor said. “I thank him for his willingness to once again serve the people of our state.”

Moe’s MnSCU board appointment is effective on Dec. 20 and expires on June 30, 2020.

What’s Ahead: The Legislative Study Group on Educator Licensure is scheduled to meet on Dec. 20, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., in Room 200 of the State Office Building. The study group, co-chaired by Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, and Sen. Charles Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, will continue its discussions on governance and tiered licensure proposals.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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