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Minnesota’s jobless rate falls to 7.7% but job growth slows

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in July from 8.6% a month earlier, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic

Development said Thursday, but cautioned that job growth is slowing as the coronavirus pandemic persists.

The agency said Minnesota added 32,500 payroll jobs in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, while the U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July. The U.S. unemployment rate was 10.2% for July, down from 11.1% in June.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but job growth is slowing, a sign that this recovery will likely take some time,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 2.9% before the pandemic struck, according to the department’s revised figures.

Some groups of Minnesotans have been more affected more than than others during the pandemic. Based on six-month moving averages, the agency said, unemployment for Black Minnesotans was 15.3% in July, up 9 percentage points from 6.3% one year ago. For Hispanic Minnesotans, unemployment was 8.6% in July, double the rate from July 2019. White Minnesotans had a jobless rate of 6.3% in July, up from 3.1% one year ago.

Seasonally adjusted job gains in July were led by the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 17,200, or 9.8%.