The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 17, 2014

Mankato area adds jobs over year

State unemployment hits 7-year low

MANKATO — The Mankato area saw 1.6 percent job growth in June compared with the year before.

The Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, grew to 55,493 total jobs, including 46,279 in the private sector.

Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent last month – the lowest it has been in seven years.

Mankato had the second-highest year-to-year job growth in June among metropolitan statistical areas. St. Cloud led the pack at 2.8 percent.

Compared with the month before, the private sector in the Mankato area was down 442 jobs or .9 percent.

The government sector added 410 jobs from May to June, for a total of 9,214, though it was down 3.5 percent from a year earlier.

“With the positive pattern experienced not only this year but through most of the last four years, the marketplace has shown its economic stability, perseverance and health,” Jonathan Zierdt, president and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth said in a statement.

Mankato has seen year-over-year job gains in 43 of the past 46 months.

Statewide, employment grew by 53,779 jobs over the past year, a 1.9 percent growth rate, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That matches the nationwide rate for that period.

"Minnesota had positive employment growth in June, with more total jobs than ever before in our state’s history,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. ”The unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since February 2007, while new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to their lowest level in nearly 14 years.”

Statewide, government added 3,900 jobs in June, followed by education and health services (up 3,500), trade, transportation and utilities (up 2,200), financial activities (up 600), information (up 500), professional and business services (up 300), and logging and mining (up 200).

The following sectors lost jobs: other services (down 1,400), manufacturing (down 900), leisure and hospitality (down 300), and construction (down 100).

Professional and business services led all sectors over the past year with 12,452 new jobs. Other industries adding jobs over that period were education and health services (up 11,153), manufacturing (up 8,415), construction (up 8,363), government (up 7,898), leisure and hospitality (up 4,254), trade, transportation and utilities (up 3,592), information (up 828), and logging and mining (up 564).

Financial activities (down 1,886) and other services (down 1,854) lost jobs in the past year.

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