The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 15, 2012

Number of jobs in area increases

The Free Press

MANKATO — Local employment rose 1.5 percent in October compared to a year earlier. There were 54,684 people with jobs, up 793 from last October.

It is the highest number of jobs recorded since October 2008.

The figures are for the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties.

Private sector jobs grew 1.7 percent while government added just 0.2 percent.

One cloud in the otherwise sunny report is that goods-producing businesses had 0.4 percent fewer jobs.

Meanwhile Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady last month even as the state lost 8,100 jobs.

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that October’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.8 percent, well below the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.

The job losses were concentrated in professional and business services, government and the hospitality industry, while construction jobs were gained. Of the jobs lost, 5,600 were in the private sector and 2,500 were in government.

The state has gained a net of almost 35,000 jobs in the past year, with the biggest gains in education and health services, business services and construction.