In the 21 months leading up to January, Minnesota's economy added nearly 12,661 more jobs than originally estimated state officials said Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said the state gained an additional 600 jobs in January.
Minnesota's jobless rate in January was 4.7 percent, unchanged from December's number, which was revised upward from the original estimate of 4.6 percent. The U.S. employment rate was 6.6 percent in January.
The pre-January employment gains result from an annual look-back at job counts. The process is an effort to ensure they are consistent with more precise but less timely measures than the employer survey the monthly figures are based on.
January was the sixth consecutive month of job gains in Minnesota, bringing total job growth in the state during the past year to 52,160. That's a growth rate of 1.9 percent, slightly ahead of the U.S. growth rate of 1.8 percent. Minnesota has regained 190,400 jobs since the low point of the recession and is 31,400 jobs above the state's pre-recessionary peak.
"Even with January's extremely cold weather, hardworking Minnesotans continued to generate jobs," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "We're particularly encouraged by the breadth of the labor market recovery, with all 11 of the state's industrial sectors gaining jobs in the past year."
The leisure and hospitality industry topped other sectors in January with 3,000 new jobs. Employment also grew in manufacturing (+ 2,000), education and health care (+ 1,200), professional and business services (+ 900) and other services (+ 200). Logging and mining held steady.
Employment declined in trade, transportation and utilities (- 3,200), financial activities (- 1,200), information (- 1,100), construction (- 900) and government (- 300).
Applications for US jobless aid dip to 3-month low
Nationally, the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, its lowest level in three months. It was the second straight decline, and it added to evidence that the job market is picking up after a winter slump.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile figure, fell 6,250 to 330,500, the lowest point since early December.
Applications are a rough proxy for layoffs. The declines indicate that most companies are confident enough about consumer demand to avoid layoffs.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.