MANKATO — Local job numbers rose by 4.8% in August year over year.

Most of the gains were in the service sector, which grew by 5.8% while manufacturing was up 0.5%. Government jobs grew by 6.2%.

There were 55,213 jobs in the Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical area, which is all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, a gain of 2,538 jobs.

Mankato’s job growth was better than most other metropolitan areas in the state. St. Cloud jobs were up 2.1%, Rochester up 3.9%, Duluth up 5% and the Twin Cities up 3.9%. Minnesota’s job numbers were up 4%.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released the numbers Thursday.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate improved slightly and dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.8% in August due to people moving out of unemployment and into employment.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate held steady at 67.8% in August. Nationally, the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 5.2% and the labor force participation rate held steady at 61.7%.

“It’s great to see continued job growth, especially after the strong month we had in July,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “As fall begins we will redouble our efforts to highlight the extraordinary opportunities that exist in our economy now — and work directly with businesses and job seekers to accelerate hiring.”

Many Minnesotans continue to be out of work, but the employment impact of the pandemic on workers has been difficult to measure. The pandemic caused some people to drop out of the workforce, lowering labor force participation, which resulted in an unemployment rate below what would be expected given job losses.

Average wages and weekly hours have gone up significantly over the past year as a result of the tight labor market. Average hourly wages for all private sector workers rose 9 cents in August and rose $1, or 3.2%, over the year and $2.42, or 8%, since August 2019.

Private sector average weekly hours ticked up in August for the second month. Compared to one and two years ago in August, hours are up 1.1% and 3.5% respectively. Another sign of the tight labor market is the drop in teen unemployment to 6.2% in August, down 4.8 percentage points over the year in Minnesota. This is the second lowest August teen unemployment rate on record, dating to 2002; the only time August teen unemployment was lower was in 2018 at 5.7%.

Six supersectors gained jobs in August and five lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Gains were in manufacturing up 2,300 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 2,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,500 jobs; financial activities, up 1,300 jobs; professional and business services, up 900 jobs; and construction, up 600 jobs.

Losses were in government, down 1,900 jobs; education and health services, down 1,200 jobs; information, down 600 jobs; other services, down 500 jobs; and mining and logging, down 100 jobs.

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