Although Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent last month, it was also another month of job declines.
Employers in Minnesota sliced more than 11,000 net jobs from payrolls last month after cutting jobs in March as well. Those two months of job losses follow a robust, six-month hiring streak.
Bad weather and federal budget cuts likely contributed to April's weak employment picture, said Steve Hine, chief labor market analyst for Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Hine notes that many other economic indicators, such as job openings, are signaling strength.
"We'd been reporting that for a number of months, all sectors were up over the year," Hine said. "We now have three of the major sectors dipping into negative territory. Those include construction, manufacturing, and government."
Some evidence of that improvement comes in the unemployment rate, which has fallen to its lowest level since May 2008. Overall, more people are looking for work and more are finding it. The U.S. unemployment rate is more than 2 percentage points higher the Minnesota's.
Minnesota's employment drop in April is somewhat offset by an upward revision of the March tally. March figures were revised from a loss of 5,200 jobs to 3,300 positions lost.
"The trend is toward improvement, albeit slow improvement," Hine said.