Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  Minnesota’s economy lost 1,500 jobs in August, led by declines in construction and manufacturing.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released its August report Thursday and it shows a slight increase in the unemployment rate.

The August rate of 4-percent was up a tenth of a point from July and nearly half a point higher than the same month a year ago. It was also the highest monthly rate since the 4-percent reading in June 2014.  

The report shows there was a net gain of nearly 41,000 jobs over the past 12 months for a growth rate of 1.4-percent. More than half the gains were in the education and health services sectors.

The report also shows the Rochester area had a job growth rate of 3-percent over the past year. That ties with St Cloud for the highest growth rate of all major regions in the state.  


“Job growth over the past year indicates the Minnesota economy is expanding at a healthy pace,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “Seven of the state’s 11 major industrial sectors added jobs in the last 12 months, and other economic measures point to continued growth.”

Trade, transportation and utilities led all sectors in August with 2,300 new jobs. Other sectors gaining jobs were education and health services (up 700), government (up 600) and information (up 500). Logging and mining held steady.

The following industries lost jobs in August: construction (down 1,900), other services (down 1,100), manufacturing (down 1,000), financial activities (down 700), leisure and hospitality (down 700), and professional and business services (down 200).

Over the past year, education and health services led all sectors with 21,590 new jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 9,039 jobs, followed by trade, transportation and utilities (up 5,677), construction (up 5,087), financial activities (up 1,728), professional and business services (up 1,217), and government (up 327).

The following sectors lost jobs in the past 12 months: information (down 2,174), logging and mining (down 1,147), manufacturing (down 511) and other services (down 204).

In the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the following regions gained jobs in the past 12 months: Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.8 percent), Rochester MSA (up 3 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 3 percent), Mankato MSA (up 0.6 percent) and Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.5 percent).