Minnesota employers pause after hiring spree

Now hiring
The Builders Association of the Twin Cities job fair includes a big "Now Hiring" sign May 7, 2014 in St. Paul. Statewide payroll employment fell by 200 positions in August, and the jobless rate dropped below 3 percent as fewer people were job-hunting.
Jennifer Simonson | MPR News 2014

Minnesota employers dropped 200 jobs from their payrolls in August and the state jobless rate fell to 2.9 percent according to statistics released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Employers had added 31,700 jobs over the previous three months.

The state's unemployment rate fell as the number of people job-hunting dropped from the previous month.

Minnesota's jobless rate hasn't dipped below 3 percent since December, 1999.

The state's all-time lowest unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in the first two months of that year.

"The annual job growth figures point to a state labor market that is growing strong," said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. "Among other positive signs, the number of unemployed Minnesotans last month fell below 90,000 for the first time in over 18 years."

The construction industry led all sectors in August with a gain of 1,700 jobs. Government added 1,000, and leisure and hospitality, 400. Logging and mining held steady.

Payroll employment shrank by 1,000 positions in the education and health services sector. Manufacturing lost 900; trade, transportation and utilities, 600. Information, financial activities, professional and business services, and other services each cut 200 positions.

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