ST. PAUL, MN (KDAL) - The state unemployment rate edged 0.1 percent higher in March to a seasonally adjusted 5.8 percent, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The state remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 8.2 percent. Employers eliminated 200 jobs statewide in March, and figures from February were revised from 6,200 jobs gained to 5,800 jobs gained. The private sector, however, added 1,600 jobs in March and has recovered 88,000 (58 percent) of the jobs that were lost during the recession. "The underlying fundamentals of the economy remain strong, even after job losses last month for the first time since November," said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips. "Declines in new claims for jobless benefits, increased job postings online and strong retail sales are among the signs of an improving economy." Trade, transportation and utilities led all sectors in March, adding 2,500 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality (up 1,200) and education and health services (up 200). Jobs losses occurred in government (down 1,800), manufacturing (down 1,000), construction (down 500), professional and business services (down 300), other services (down 300), information (down 100) and logging and mining (down 100). Financial activities held steady during the month.
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