St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota’s economy reached a significant milestone last month when the state’s total number of private sector jobs exceeded 2.5 million for the first time.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development say the historical records show the state’s economy created 2 million private-sector jobs for the first time in July 1995. The monthly jobs report for March also shows Minnesota’s economy added over 48,000 jobs during the previous 12 months for a job growth rate of 1.7-percent. That beat the national average of 1.5-percent, which has become a rare occurrence in recent years.
Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down two-tenths of a point from February at 3.8-percent last month as the state enjoyed a net gain of about 5300 jobs. Officials also revised the job gain total from February upward by about 2400 positions. A year ago, the state’s jobless rate was 3.9-percent, while the national unemployment rate last month was 4.5-percent.
The strongest job gains last month were in the professional and business services sector at almost 5,000 positions, while the largest losses were found in the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, which experienced a net decline of about 2500 jobs.
After experiencing strong gains last year, Rochester’s year-over-year job growth rate was only about a half percentage point in March. That works out to a net gain of only about 500 jobs in the past 12 months. The strongest job growth rate in Minnesota continues to be found in the Twin Cities, which has added almost 40,000 jobs during the past year for a job growth rate of 2.1-percent.