ST. PAUL — The unemployment rate in Minnesota dipped by one tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.1% as the national rate fell slightly to 3.5%.
All told, the state lost 4,500 jobs in February, according to a new report. The private sector shed about 4,900 jobs while the government sector gained 400.
Those figures don't account for jobs lost because of business closures, which were ordered this month in a bid to slow down the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. More than 300,000 people applied for the state unemployment insurance program since March 16,
In a statement, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development officials don't expect the shutdown's effect on unemployment rates to become clear until figures for April are released in May.
Over the year in February, Minnesota did add 2,315 jobs for an increase of 0.1%. The private sector lost 1,618 in that time.
The state's government and construction sectors both added jobs since last February, as did the leisure and hospitality industry. Several sectors showed signs of job loss, however, including logging and mining, manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, information, finance, professional and business services, education and health.
Hourly pay, meanwhile, grew between January and February by 34 cents to $31.50. Wage growth was up 5.2% from February 2019.
Annual employment held steady in the Twin Cities area and in Bloomington, according to DEED. The Duluth-Superior area had negative job growth of about 0.9%.
Over-the-year job growth continued to rise in the Mankato and North Mankato area at a rate of 2.1%. Rochester saw positive job growth compared to last year February as well, after dipping slightly by that measure in January.