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Unemployment rate drops to 5.6 percent

The Minnesota unemployment rate fell 0.1 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted 5.6 percent, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The state remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.

Employers added 15,500 jobs in January, bringing year-over-year job gains in the state to 29,000. Total jobs in the state have grown 1.1 percent over the past year, compared with a 1.5 percent growth rate nationally.

"Robust job growth in January points to an economy that is gaining momentum," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "The private sector has been particularly strong, adding 27,200 jobs in the past two months alone."

Professional and business services led all sectors in January, adding 5,600 jobs.

Other gains occurred in construction (up 4,200), education and health services (up 4,100), manufacturing (up 2,400), information (up 1,400), other services (up 800), and mining and logging (up 100).

Government lost 1,700 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality (down 600), trade, transportation and utilities (down 400), and financial activities (down 400).

Eight of the state's 11 major industrial sectors have added jobs over the past year, led by professional and business services (up 18,500).

Other job gains have occurred in education and health services (up 8,700), manufacturing (up 6,600), trade, transportation and utilities (up 6,500), construction (up 2,900), other services (up 2,700), financial activities (up 600), and logging and mining (up 300).

Year-over-year job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (down 9,600), government (down 7,900) and information (down 300).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Mankato MSA (up 3.6 percent), St. Cloud MSA (up 2.1 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.1 percent) and Rochester MSA (up 0.2 percent). Job losses occurred in the Duluth-Superior MSA (down 0.9 percent).