Local job numbers show strong gain of 6.2% in August

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Sep. 15—MANKATO — The Mankato region posted a 6.2% gain in job numbers in August year over year.

The job growth far outpaced other metro areas in Minnesota.

Employers in Blue Earth and Nicollet counties added 6,365 more jobs compared to August of 2021.

Area manufacturers saw a whopping 9.7% growth in job numbers year over year. The service sector added 5.5% and government added 9.5%.

Average hourly wages in the region grew from $27.93 per hour last August to $33.26 this August.

Minnesota's job growth was 2.5% year over year. All other metro areas in the state saw job gains in August: Minneapolis-St. Paul up 2.9%, Duluth up 3.1%, Rochester up 2.2%, St. Cloud up 2.6% and Fargo-Moorhead up 2.9%.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Minnesota lost 3,100 jobs in August, down 0.1% from July.

The state's unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 1.9% in August, although it remains at a historic low, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Minnesota's labor force participation rate ticked down two-tenths of a point to 68.2%. In August, the U.S. unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a point to 3.7% and the labor force participation rate increased by three-tenths of a point to 62.4%.

Job growth has been less consistent than usual coming out of the pandemic recession; however, the trend toward growth has remained strong. Over the past three months, both Minnesota and U.S. employment has grown 0.5%.

"We saw a pause in our job growth in August, amidst an otherwise record-setting year for Minnesota's economy," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. "Despite the fluctuations we've seen in the global economy, Minnesota's resiliency remains strong. Our number one focus continues to be on connecting job seekers and businesses during a time of opportunity for Minnesota's labor market."

In Minnesota, average hourly wages for all private sector workers rose 24 cents to $34.62 in August over the month. Over the year average hourly earnings rose $1.90, up 5.8%. Over two years, average hourly earnings increased $2.93 or 9.2%.