Minnesota adds 7,400 jobs, jobless rate drops
ST. PAUL - Minnesota employers added 7,400 jobs in April, according to figures released Thursday by the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota employers added 7,400 jobs in April, according to figures released Thursday by the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Minnesota's unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.7 percent, from a revised 3.8 percent in March.
Steve Hine, DEED's director of labor market information, said the unemployment rate likely would've fallen further had it not been for a continued upward trend in the state's labor force participation rate, which climbed to 70.7 percent in April.
Labor force participation had steadily declined for the past 15 years, bottoming out at 69.6 percent in December. Hine attributes this trend to the mass exodus of baby boomers from the workforce.
He has been perplexed by the labor force participation rate's recent rebound but suggested it may be due to a recent spike in the number of 16- to 19-year-olds seeking employment.
"If it continues, or at least plateaus and doesn't reverse itself, I think that would be a good sign," he said.
The construction sector led Minnesota's jobs growth in April, adding 6,600. The professional and business services sector was up 3,400 jobs, while trade, transportation and utilities was up 2,200.
The U.S. unemployment rate in April was 5.4 percent.