ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lost 1,300 seasonally adjusted jobs in July, raising the state’s unemployment rate to 3.4%.

The state’s rate, an increase from 3.3% the month before, still remains below the national rate of 3.7%, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The state’s labor participation rate remained at 70%.

“Even with this slight increase, Minnesota’s unemployment rate remains low and the labor force participation rate remains high,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a prepared statement. “This continues to suggest that the state’s labor force is at or near capacity – and businesses will continue to find it challenging to hire and retain workers.”

Construction employers added 1,600 workers for the highest-gaining sector while leisure and hospitality employers cut 3,000 jobs.

The latest unemployment numbers continue to show the rate for blacks more than double that of whites. With black unemployment in Minnesota holding steady at 6.6% in July, while the rate among whites rose to 2.9% from 2.8% the month before. Hispanic unemployment fell to 3.3% from 3.6% in June.

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