Local legislators encouraged by latest job report

Published 10:11 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

Local legislators are calling the latest Minnesota jobs report encouraging.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent in December, with employers adding 9,500 new jobs.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that the seasonally adjusted rate remains well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7 percent.

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DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben says 11 of 12 major industrial sectors gained jobs last year. She says leading indicators point to continued growth in 2014.

State Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, lauded the report.

“Our economy ended the year on a strong note, but we need to redouble our efforts to support those who have yet to feel the recovery,” said Poppe. “With Minnesota on sound fiscal footing for the first time in years, we’re well positioned to build on our momentum in the year ahead. “State lawmakers are gearing up to pass a robust bonding bill to put thousands more Minnesotans back to work, so I’m hopeful we’ll see more progress in 2014,” she added.

Trade, transportation and utilities led all sectors last month with 4,600 new jobs. Job losses for the month occurred in leisure and hospitality, financial activities and other services.

Minnesota added a total of 45,900 jobs in the past year, a growth rate of 1.7 percent compared with a national rate of 1.6 percent.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.