You may have missed it but on Thursday, the state's quarterly unemployment report came out.
In keeping with what was said during the February forecast, Minnesota's unemployment rate continues to drop with jobs being added in a variety of sectors. Sounds good, right? Until you peek at where the jobs are being added:
Leisure and hospitality led all sectors in February with 3,400 new jobs, followed by manufacturing (up 700), education and health services (up 500), trade, transportation and utilities (up 400), construction (up 300) and logging and mining (up 100).
The following industries lost jobs: professional and business services (down 4,600), government (down 1,100) information (down 500), financial activities (down 400) and other services (down 100).
Over the past year, education and health services led all industries with 8,451 new jobs. Other sectors adding jobs were government (up 7,360), construction (up 4,867), trade, transportation and utilities (up 3,627), leisure and hospitality (up 1,193), manufacturing (up 139) and other services (up 63).
Four industries lost jobs over the past 12 months: financial activities (down 1,365), information (down 1,319), professional and business services (down 338) and logging and mining (down 52).
So what we see is that the economy has been hiring more hotel workers this month followed by small gains in the trades, education construction plus logging and mining but we've lost a much larger number of jobs in (higher paying) professional and business services. Government jobs were down this month but this is after a substantial climb over the last year. In fact, Education, Health Services, and Government are all big drivers of the unemployment decline in Minnesota. These areas are either government paid or government subsidized in one way or another which makes you wonder how sustainable Minnesota's shiny unemployment numbers really are.
This month's report also includes interesting information about the different calculations for unemployment that were discussed quite a bit not too long ago, in trying to understand the different kinds of unemployment and underemployment in the economy.