St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The winter storms that hit the state in April apparently contributed to Minnesota’s economy shedding a few thousand jobs last month, but the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained lower than the national rate and the state’s jobless rate from a year ago.

The State Department of Employment and Economic Development says the 3.2-percent rate has now been unchanged for three months and is three-tenths of a point below the April 2017 unemployment rate. It also remains the lowest rate for the state since July 2000.

With the loss of 2,900 positions in April and a revision for March that trimmed the number of jobs gained from 2,900 to only 400, Minnesota has only added a little under 11,700 jobs over the past year. That put the state’s job growth rate at only four-tenths of a percent, which remains well below the national growth rate of 1.7-percent.

“Unusual weather conditions in the early part of the month were likely a contributing factor in April’s job losses, particularly in industries like construction and leisure and hospitality,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy. “

The monthly report indicates the Rochester Metropolitan Area, which includes portions of some surrounding counties, has experienced the net loss of about 700 jobs over the past 12 months for a job growth rate of minus six-tenths of a percent.

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