Minnesota employers added 8,900 positions to their payrolls last month, the vast majority in the private sector, according to state economic officials. The state's jobless rate dropped to 3.1 percent, the lowest since July of 2000.
Minnesota's annual employment growth rate tied the national average of 1.5 percent in December.
Unofficial data indicate black unemployment in Minnesota fell to 7.5 percent in December, the lowest rate since the state's first calculations in 2001. The black jobless rate was 23.5 percent in 2011, according to the measure, which is based on a 12-month average and a relatively small survey sample.
"Minnesota's economy had a strong year, with nine of 11 major industrial sectors adding jobs in 2017 and unemployment at a 17-year low," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "All economic indicators point to continued growth in the state's labor market.
"Still, we have more work to do to connect all Minnesotans, specifically people of color, indigenous communities and people with disabilities, to employment and training opportunities to ensure that they succeed in today's economy."
Construction led all sectors last month with 5,700 new jobs. The other industries with more jobs were education and health services (2,500), trade, transportation and utilities (1,800), leisure and hospitality (1,800), government (up 200), logging and mining (up 100) and information (up 100).
Four sectors lost jobs: professional and business services (1,400), other services (1,100), manufacturing (600) and financial activities (200).