The Big Story Blog

MN jobless rate falls to 5.9% despite big job cuts

Posted at 9:48 AM on December 15, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs and unemployment

Minnesota officials say the state jobless rate fell below 6 percent in November, to 5.9 percent -- the lowest in Minnesota since October 2008.

But officials also acknowledged:

State employers eliminated 13,700 jobs in November, and October figures were revised to reflect an additional 1,200 jobs lost during that month. The state has lost 22,900 jobs over the past three months, even while the unemployment rate was falling from 7.2 percent to 5.9 percent during that period.
"The mixed results make it difficult to draw clear conclusions about how well the labor market is doing," Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development, said in a prepared statement. "I'm cautiously optimistic, however, that the economy is moving in the right direction."

Officials said the paradox of jobs and the unemployment rate falls at the same time could be from sampling errors in the different surveys used to determine the jobless rate, more people becoming self-employed and a declining labor force participation rate.

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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