Thursday MinnEcon glimmer: Uptick in a Twin Cities employment index

No one’s ready to declare a turnaround in Minnesota’s unemployment. The jobless rate remains at 8.2 percent, the highest in more than 25 years. We won’t get the next official report for two weeks. I haven’t heard anyone predicting a drop.

But if you’re searching for shiny nuggets in the gloom, here’s one today: A monthly online employment survey conducted by Monster Worldwide showed a Twin Cities uptick in April, the first time in a year where there wasn’t a decline.

Monster builds an employment index for 28 U.S. cities, including Minneapolis. It’s meant to be a “a snapshot of employer online recruitment activity.”

The Minneapolis index fell nearly 50 percent from April 2008 to March 2009 with declines every month, until April. It might be a seasonal improvement. But, hey, it’s the right direction. Growth came in sectors important to Minnesota: Construction, transportation, business and financial operations.

Monster’s U.S. index also improved. “April’s rise in online recruitment activity was in line with seasonal expectations and suggests that the pace of slowdown in the U.S. labor market is moderating,” Monster senior vp Jesse Harriott said in a prepared statement.

Take a look at the data and let me know what you think. We’re also constantly beating the shrubs for stories of the job outlook around Minnesota. Below are some recent responses we’ve mapped. Take a look, then add your story.

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