The Big Story Blog

MN jobless rate improves to 5.7% in December

Posted at 9:08 AM on January 19, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs and unemployment

Minnesota's unemployment rate slipped to 5.7 percent in December, down from 5.9 percent in November, as state employers added 7,900 jobs, officials said this morning.

"The Minnesota unemployment rate continues to move in the right direction, reaching its lowest level since September 2008," DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said in a prepared statement. "The labor market is recovering at a slow but steady pace."

For all 2011, the Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state added 25,300 jobs for the full year. That's about 2,100 jobs a month. Economists, though, say Minnesota's labor market needs to produce an estimated 2,000 jobs a month to simply keep pace with population growth and new people entering the workforce.

And while Minnesota's jobless rate is significantly lower than the 8.5 percent U.S. jobless rate, data show that U.S. job growth outpaced Minnesota during 2011.

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.