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Minnesota unemployment ticks up as state loses jobs in December

State economic officials said the 2.5% unemployment rate "remains historically low" and below the national rate.
Credit: stock.adobe.com

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota's unemployment rate rose slightly in December, as the state lost jobs for the first time in more than a year.

According to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the state's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a point in December to 2.5%. In a news release, state officials noted the rate "remains historically low," and is also a full point lower than the national unemployment rate of 3.5%.

Private-sector jobs increased by 900 in the month of December, but public-sector local government jobs were down by 6,100, leading to an overall decrease for the month.

“Minnesota’s job growth took a holiday break in December, but the private sector grew and indicators point to a strong underlying economy,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “The Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s economic budget proposal they’ll announce today includes a bold set of strategic priorities that will bring more jobs, workers, and opportunity to our state."

DEED said the labor force participation rate remained steady in Minnesota at 67.9%, as 3,367 people entered the workforce.

However, the department also said inflation continues to outpace wage growth. Average hourly earnings in Minnesota were up 3.7% in 2022, but the Consumer Price Index was up 6.5% in that same time.

The leisure and hospitality sector had the strongest job growth in the state in 2022, rising 10% with the addition of more than 23,000 jobs. Education and health services jobs also grew (4.7%), while construction jobs were down 2.8%.

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