The local region continued to see strong job growth in November, including a big gain in manufacturing jobs.

The Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area saw a 2.6 percent job gain compared to a year earlier, adding 1,537 jobs.

The region includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties.

Local manufacturers added 528 jobs year-over-year, a 5 percent gain.

Government sector jobs were up 6.9 percent.

The average hourly wage rose by 61 cents compared to last year, to $25.38 per hour.

The average work week was just slightly longer this November, 30.9 hours per week, compared to 30.6 hours a year earlier.

In other metro areas, Minneapolis saw 1.8 percent growth, Duluth-Superior 1.5 percent growth and St. Cloud 1.2 percent growth. Rochester declined 0.5 percent since last November.

Minnesota saw job growth of 1.1 percent in November and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held at 2.8 percent, according to data released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Over the past year, Minnesota added 33,460 total jobs. The private sector gained 31,365 jobs for a gain of 1.2 percent. Nationally, growth declined a tenth of a point in total and private employment respectively for 1.6 percent total growth and 1.9 percent private growth.

“Minnesota’s unemployment rate has remained unchanged since September,” DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement. “Maintaining this historically low unemployment rate is a sign of the state’s economic stability.”

Across eleven major sectors, five gained jobs during November. Gains were led by leisure and hospitality and professional and business services, both up 1,500 jobs. Other sectors that gained jobs were trade, transportation and utilities (up 200), financial activities (up 200) and manufacturing (up 100). Construction held steady during November.

Some sectors measuring losses were education and health care (down 2,700), other services (down 1,000), government (off 400), logging and mining (down 100) and information (down 100).

Follow Tim Krohn on Twitter @TimKrohn

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