MANKATO — Employment numbers continued their strong growth in the Mankato region in September, with manufacturing jobs jumping nearly 8% year-over-year.
Blue Earth and Nicollet counties combined increased employment by 2.9% in September from a year earlier. Manufacturers added 7.8% to their employment numbers while the service sector added 1.8%. Public service jobs fell 0.6% year over year.
The average hourly wage in the Mankato area in September was $32.66, down from $28.22 a year ago.
There were 56,906 jobs in the two counties in September, down from 55,319 a year earlier.
Minnesota gained 3.3% in job numbers from a year earlier, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Economic Development.
Minnesota’s unemployment rate in September remains historic low at 2%, a tenth of a point higher than in August and 1.5 points better than the national rate of 3.5%. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate fell a tenth of a point to 68.1%, compared to the national rate of 62.3%.
Minnesota’s job growth in September follows the addition of 1,200 jobs (revised up from a loss of 3,100) in August. Minnesota’s private sector gained 8,500 jobs in September, up 0.3%, with the government losing 4,300 jobs, down 1%. The United States gained 578,000 jobs in September, up 0.4% from August, with the private sector adding 563,000 jobs, up 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The job growth trend remained strong after the pandemic. Employment in Minnesota has increased by 2.4% since January 2022, while the United States has increased by 2.2%. For 12 consecutive months, Minnesota has gained jobs.
“Minnesota’s economy is strong and continues to grow, with another milestone today of 12 consecutive months of job growth,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement.
“Our unemployment rate, the highest in the nation, continues to reveal a market full of opportunity – we are committed to taking innovative approaches to help Minnesota businesses find the workers they need.”
Minnesota remained at the top of the list of states with the tightest labor markets with 4.1 job openings for every unemployed person based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for July, the latest information available. . With 226,000 job openings in July, Minnesota had a vacancy rate of 7.2%, tied for 15th with Idaho and Illinois.
The number of involuntary part-time workers in Minnesota fell to 28,100 in September, another historic low. These low figures indicate that workers do not need to settle for part-time jobs when they prefer full-time jobs and are another sign of the very tight labor market.