Twin Ports continue to lead most Minnesota metro areas in job growth

The greater Twin Ports area continues to see job growth stronger than most other metro areas in Minnesota, according to new monthly statistics released Thursday.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area added 4,571 jobs between September 2020 and September 2021, representing 3.6% growth. That’s slightly behind Rochester’s 3.9% growth but ahead of the Twin Cities, Mankato, and St. Cloud.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.7% in September as more people found jobs. The state’s private sector gained 17,700 jobs in September.

Wisconsin’s jobless rate remained at 3.9% for the sixth month in a row, while the national rate was 4.8%.

Average hourly earnings in Minnesota rose another 25 cents in September, with a total increase of $1.17 over the year. The average work week in Minnesota was 34.2 hours, which was one hour shorter than August but still up from one year earlier.

Most industry sectors in Minnesota saw job growth over the last year, led by leisure and hospitality’s 20.7% annual growth rate as it recovered from 2020 pandemic shutdowns. Minnesota’s mining and logging industry saw a 3.6% over-the-year growth rate compared with 8.7% nationally.