MN 2018 job gains far below estimate; Jan. jobless rate at 3 percent

Job fair
Cheryl Browning, right, with the FDIC, talks with University of Wisconsin-River Falls students Kao Vang, left, and Mao Khang, during the Minnesota State University Job and Internship Fair in Brooklyn Center, Minn.
Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News 2015

Updated 2:36 p.m. | Posted 11:12 a.m.

Minnesota's job growth for 2018 came in two-thirds below the 31,000 job gains originally estimated, and growth continues to slow as the labor market tightens, state officials said Thursday.

Revised job figures for last year indicate Minnesota gained only 10,164 jobs from December 2017 to December 2018, not the 31,441 jobs that were originally estimated, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday.

State labor economist Steve Hine said that "shaving 20,000 jobs off is not a huge adjustment" given the overall level of state employment, which is now approaching 3 million jobs.

The news came as DEED announced Minnesota's jobless rate rose slightly in January to a seasonally adjusted 3 percent, up from 2.9 percent in December but still significantly lower than the 4 percent national unemployment rate in January.

"Minnesota has started the year on a positive note with 3,800 new jobs," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. "However, with revisions we continue to see job growth slowing across the state as our labor force continues to tighten."

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