State employers cut 3,200 jobs, job market still tight

The 1st annual State Fair Job Fair
Attendants of the State Fair Job Fair wait in line outside of the Progress Center at the State Fair Grounds.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2016

Minnesota economic officials report the state's jobless rate held steady at 3.2 percent in April, well below the national rate of 3.9 percent.

Minnesota employers eliminated 3,200 payroll jobs last month, and additional information whittled the March job gain down from 2,900 to 400.

"Unusual weather conditions in the early part of the month were likely a contributing factor in April's job losses, particularly in industries like construction and leisure and hospitality," said Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner of the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. "The state's labor market fundamentals remain solid, with the number of unemployed Minnesotans at a 17-year low and the unemployment rate in recent months at its lowest level since August 2000."

According to a report from the Conference Board earlier this month, Minnesota has only 73 unemployed people for every 100 job openings.

Unofficial estimates indicate unemployment for Black Minnesotans continues a downward trend, with the 12-month moving average rate falling from 7.4 percent in January to 6.8 percent in April. That's still significantly higher than the comparative 2.7 percent rate for whites.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics rose half a percentage point to 3.6 percent in April, according to the department's analysis.

Officials cautioned that because of the relatively small sample sizes, the calculated unemployment rates for black and Latino people are more susceptible to measurement error.

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