MANKATO — The Mankato area added 1,033 non-farm jobs in June. That brings the number of jobs up 2.7 percent, or 1,435 jobs, from the same month a year ago.
The service economy led the increase, adding 928 jobs, though government and manufacturing also had small increases.
That brings the number of jobs up to 54,752, bringing it within striking distance — 453 jobs — of the pre-recession high, in November 2007.
“Achieving the pre-recessionary level of employment is sort of a milestone,” said Steve Hine, research director for the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s labor market information office.
The labor force — the number of employed and unemployed people — has grown by 2,571 in the nearly five years since then, so the same number of jobs won’t exactly be a full recovery.
The monthly data reverse a three-month trend of declining jobs in the Mankato-North Mankato metropolitan statistical area.
Statewide, 7,200 jobs were added in June, though the unemployment rate was stable at 5.6 percent. That gain was offset in part by a revision to May’s job numbers. The initial May report, released a month ago, showed a loss of 900 jobs, but that turned out to undercount losses, which were actually 4,700 jobs.
The unemployment rate is stable, in part, because it relies on different data, Hine said. The unemployment rate data, based on household surveys, show 31,600 jobs added so far this year, while Thursday’s payroll report shows an uptick of 35,000 jobs in 2012.
The Mankato-area unemployment rate will be released Tuesday.
The Mankato area continues to be the fastest-growing of the state’s five metropolitan statistical areas over the past year.
Statewide, the biggest job growth came in professional and business services, which added 5,100 jobs. Manufacturing continues to add jobs.
Construction growth outpaces the nation with a 3.9 percent year-over-year increase, compared to .2 percent nationwide. But leisure and hospitality continue to lag, down 3.1 percent over last year compared to a 2 percent gain nationwide.
Metal fabrication was a strong point statewide, up 6.6 percent over the past year.
Mankato-area data aren’t broken out by industry like statewide data are because the number of companies reporting to the state — called the sample size — is too low.
Mankato-based Dotson Company continues to run at capacity, CEO Jean Bye said. (Dotson’s use of metal molds makes it a casting company, not fabrication, which involves welding together pieces of material.)
She said the company has some job openings, which is typical during months with six- and seven-day weeks.
Agriculture parts are the busiest part of their business, she said.