State jobless rate stays at 4.6 percent

ST. PAUL — Minnesota's unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent in December, with employers adding 9,500 new jobs.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that the seasonally adjusted rate remains well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.

DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben says 11 of 12 major industrial sectors gained jobs last year. She says leading indicators point to continued growth in 2014.

"December's employment numbers closed out a strong year for the Minnesota labor market," Sieben said.

Trade, transportation and utilities led all sectors last month with 4,600 new jobs. Job losses for the month occurred in leisure and hospitality, financial activities and other services.


Minnesota added a total of 45,900 jobs in the past year, a growth rate of 1.7 percent compared with a national rate of 1.6 percent.

The Rochester area added 900 jobs over the last year, for a growth rate of 0.9 percent.

That actually lagged most other metro areas. Minneapolis-St. Paul has a 2 percent growth rate; Duluth-Superior, 1.3 percent; St. Cloud, 1.1 percent and Mankato, 0.7 percent.

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.

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