Minnesota lost 1,300 seasonally adjusted jobs in July, and the state’s unemployment rate edged up one 10th to 3.4 percent, according to data recently released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent. July’s seasonally adjusted loss represents the first decline after four continuous months of gains that added 7,000 jobs.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate held at 70 percent.

“Even with this slight increase, Minnesota’s unemployment rate remains low and the labor force participation rate remains high,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “This continues to suggest that the state’s labor force is at or near capacity – and businesses will continue to find it challenging to hire and retain workers.”

Over the month, four major industry sectors gained jobs. Construction gained the most (up 1,600) followed by education and healthcare (up 1,000). Government (up 400) and trade, transportation and utilities (up 200) were the other two sectors experiencing gains. 

Sectors experiencing loss were leisure and hospitality (down 3,000), other services (down 1,200), information (down 200) and professional and business services (down 100).

All five metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) experienced growth over the year in July. St Cloud MSA had the highest at 1.5 percent, followed closely by Rochester MSA at 1.4 percent, Mankato MSA gained 1 percent, Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA grew 0.1 percent and Duluth MSA gained 0.7 percent.

DEED is the states principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

For more details about the agency and its services visit the DEED Web site at www.mn.gov/deed.