Minnesota added 33-hundred jobs in June while the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.3 percent. Steve Hine with the Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates hiring picked up after a spring slump — but acknowledges job growth long-term has definitely slowed somewhat. “We’re really bumping up against workforce constraints here, as our population continues to age and an increasing number of people are retiring out,” he says. Officials say June’s numbers are an encouraging sign but Minnesota employers are still having a difficult time finding workers.
Construction remains the strongest sector for job growth in Minnesota’s economy, according to the latest numbers. Hine says construction employment is up 5.3 percent in the past 12 months and “has really regained the level of employment that we saw pre-housing-bubble-burst in 2005/2006.”
Hine says the “leisure and hospitality” sector over the past year posted the largest job gains ever, since record-keeping began in 1990. He credits consumer confidence. “When you’re sure you’re gonna hang on to your job, you’re more likely to feel like you can afford to go out, and of course with the summer months we see a big surge in that kind of activity,” Hine says.