State reports job growth for 6th straight month in December

Minnesota gained more jobs last month, marking the sixth consecutive month of job growth, according to the state’s latest report.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released the data on Thursday, saying the state gained 800 jobs overall from November to December thanks to growth in the private sector that outweighed the loss of 1,700 government jobs.

Additionally, the state’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2% last month to 2.9%, well below the national rate of 3.7%, and the labor force participation rate ticked down 0.2% to 68.1%, which is still above the national rate of 62.5%.

“Continued job growth is great news – and sharing the story of employment opportunities will help us bring more people into the state’s labor force,” DEED Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon said. “Our tight labor market is creating ongoing challenges for employers – but it also creates many opportunities for workers.”

Year over year, the state gained nearly 51,000 payroll jobs, according to DEED. That’s a 1.7% increase compared to 2022, which slightly trailed the national growth rate of 1.9%. Minnesota’s construction sector had a particularly good year, growing by 8.8% in 2023 compared to the 3% national rate.

“Construction is continuing its job growth streak in Minnesota – with a job growth rate nearly triple that of Construction jobs nationally,” said DEED’s Labor Market Information Director Angelina Nguyễn. “The strongest growth in Minnesota continues to be in Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction, which is up an impressive 33.1% over the year. Part of this growth is due to robust infrastructure investment from the federal and state government, part of it is due to warmer weather this winter.”