Minnesota saw a gain of 14,500 jobs, up 0.5% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, and 8,700 jobs in the private sector, up 0.4%, according to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

DEED, which released the data on Thursday, Aug. 19, said July saw the largest gains since March for total employment and the largest since May for private sector employment.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down slightly, one-tenth of a percentage point, to 3.9% in July, according to DEED. The drop was due to people moving into jobs as well as a small decline in the state’s labor force participation, which also ticked down by a tenth of a point to 67.8% in July.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell a half a percentage point to 5.4% the same month, with labor force participation up one-tenth to 61.7%.

The DEED report said because jobs numbers were in fits and starts across the country over the past year, translating seasonally adjusted job change into a 3-month moving average helps give a clearer picture of Minnesota’s trajectory. The state added 14,300 jobs, up 0.5%, in March-May; 9,100 jobs, up 0.3%, in April-June; and 9,500, up 0.3%, in May-July, continuing a growth pattern.

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Nationally, this compares to 0.4% growth in the first two periods and 0.5% growth during the May-July period.

“It’s always good to have a month with solid job gains, particularly in leisure and hospitality which have been hit so hard,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “We remain laser-focused on connecting as many Minnesotans as we can with available, good-paying jobs in our economy – of which there are plenty.”