The Big Story Blog

Still 2014 before state regains pre-recession jobs?

Posted at 10:33 AM on January 19, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Jobs and unemployment

Minnesota's improved unemployment rate is good news. But the pace of job creation during 2011 reinforces the view of local economists that it will take the state another two years to gain back all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession.

Officials today said Minnesota added 25,300 jobs during 2011. While adding jobs is a positive, the Department of Employment and Economic Development data also showed jobs growing faster nationwide than in Minnesota.

The state's 2011 job growth works out to an average 2,100 jobs per month and that's simply not strong enough. Officials forecast the jobless rate to hang around 6 percent through 2012.

In the state budget forecast released in December, Minnesota officials noted:

The number of jobs Minnesota employers add to their payrolls is forecast to average 2,300 a month in the first half of next year before picking up to over 3,500 a month by early 2013.

Minnesota's labor market needs to produce an estimated 2,000 jobs a month to keep pace with population growth and new people entering the workforce.

This means as perceptions of growing job opportunities continue to improve and previously discouraged workers continue to re-enter the workforce looking for full-employment, it is likely Minnesota's unemployment rate will remain near 6 percent for much of 2012.

Here's the chart from the most recent budget outlook:

jobschart.jpg


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.