State Continues to Make Job Gains

Good economic news continues for Minnesota with the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) recent announcement that state employers added 6,100 jobs in August. These jobs helped the unemployment rate fall to 4.3 percent, the lowest unemployment rate in the state in nearly eight years. Minnesota has seen continuous gains in employment numbers as well as new businesses moving into the state throughout the past year – a clear sign of a healthy and thriving economy.

Since our state hit its low point during the recession in 2009, Minnesota has added nearly 203,000 jobs. Construction, as well as professional and business services were the strongest sectors in August, each adding 2,500 jobs. In the Metropolitan Statistical Areas, the city with the most job growth is St. Cloud (up 2.9 percent), followed by Mankato (up 2.6 percent), and the Minneapolis-St. Paul region (up 2.3 percent).

The Twin Cities have been heaped with economic honors over the past year. Just this spring the Minneapolis-St. Paul region’s 4 percent unemployment rate was ranked the lowest among U.S. metros with a population of 1 million or more, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Our state has also been ranked second for business tax structure and talent pipeline as well as fifth for small business friendliness and sixth for the best state for business. DEED credits these honors to our state’s diverse economy.

However, not everyone has found a job. While our unemployment rate going down is something to celebrate, it still means thousands of Minnesotans continue to look for work. These unemployed should not be forgotten in all of this. Luckily, our region is filled with people, places and organizations who want to help. I’ve listed a number of these places below:

• Ramsey County North St. Paul Workforce Center: 651-779-5666. 2098 11th Avenue East, North St. Paul, MN 55109. Open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
• Ramsey County St. Paul Workforce Center: 651-642-0363. 540 Fairview Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55104. Open Monday-Friday; 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

I encourage any of my constituents who are looking for jobs to visit these workforce centers. These job sites are staffed with trained and informative employees who can be incredibly useful for job seekers.

As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions regarding any issue. I encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16. I can be reached by email at sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn and by phone at 651-296-6820.

Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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