When Minnesota economic officials issue an employment update for the month of August on Thursday, the numbers could yield good news.
Every jobs report presents a combined picture of hiring and downsizing at businesses around the state. In July, hiring prevailed, so there was a net gain in jobs.
For August it's hard to estimate just how much hiring went on in the state. Nationally, the employment gains for August weren't so hot.
But there's reason to think that at the very least, employers in the state were not in layoff mode in August.
About 20,000 Minnesotans applied for unemployment insurance last month, about the number of people that applied in July. Those levels are remarkable because initial claims for unemployment haven't dipped that low since April of 2004.
On Thursday Minnesotans will get the whole picture: not just about how many people got laid off and sought unemployment benefits in Minnesota, but how many found work.