Local manufacturing jobs soar 8.5% in June, outpacing rest of state

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Jul. 21—MANKATO — The Greater Mankato area's job growth in June was higher than the state and other metropolitan areas in Minnesota.

Blue Earth and Nicollet counties added 2,206 year over year, or 4%.

The higher-paying manufacturing sector soared 8.5% in June locally, while service jobs were up 3.5% and government added 3% year over year.

Statewide, manufacturing jobs were up 3.8% in June, while overall job growth was 3.2% year over year.

Local average hourly wages rose to $31.98 per hour, up nearly $5 an hour compared to June 2021.

All metro areas added jobs year over year: Minneapolis-St. Paul up 3.6%, Duluth up 3.4%, Rochester up 2.9%, St. Cloud up 3.1 %.

The state's unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a point to 1.8% in June 2022 — yet another record low since the metric has been tracked in 1976, according to numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The lowest pre-pandemic unemployment rate was 2.5% in early 1999.

The unemployment rate decline over-the-month was entirely due to people moving from unemployment to employment. The labor force participation rate ticked up another tenth of a point to 68.5%.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6% (fourth straight month).

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Minnesota's job growth was flat in June. Overall, the state gained 100 jobs in June, following the addition of 7,500 jobs (revised upward by 900 jobs) in May 2022. The private sector lost 400 jobs in June on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the year, Minnesota has added 91,421 payroll jobs, up 3.2%.

Since January 2022, Minnesota has seen job growth of 1.6%, faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.5%. The U.S. gained 372,000 jobs in June, up 0.2% from May, with the private sector up 381,000 jobs, also up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

"Another month has brought another record-low unemployment rate, as more Minnesotans are finding opportunity in our economy," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement.

"The big challenge is a historically tight labor market — we're still down just over 72,000 people in our labor force since before the pandemic. We're continuing to grow DEED's Summer of Jobs campaign to highlight job market opportunities, and to help employers find workers in labor pools they may have previously overlooked."