Reasons for optimism in today’s higher MN jobless numbers?

Minnesota’s unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent in June, the highest since April 1983 when it hit 8.5 percent.

Most experts expect that number to rise. The largest declines have come in key Minnesota sectors: manufacturing, down 39,600 jobs; professional & business services, down 32,900 jobs over the year. Construction lost 3,900 jobs, wiping out gains made in May, the state Labor Department said.

So how could I possibly see any optimism? Try this:

Creighton University’s Minnesota Economic Outlook predicts our state unemployment will top out at about 8.5 percent

By the end of September. Optimistic? Maybe. Or maybe we are close to seeing the worst of it.

There’s evidence that Minnesota manufacturing turned a corner in March, with upticks seen in weekly earnings and hours worked.

The Minnesota Labor Market Index, a composite of employment data, unemployment claims and manufacturing hours, rose for the first time in nine months in April, the state said today. (Check out the posted graph.)

That last chunk is important because in past recessions an uptick in Minnesota’s Labor Market Index came one to three months before the bottom of the recession, the department noted.

Nationally, it looks like the unemployment rate will cross 10 percent during this recession. That’s the latest Federal Reserve consensus.

The nation’s June jobless rate was 9.5 percent. Will Minnesota hit 10 percent? I say no.

Feel different? Tell me what you’re seeing. Meanwhile, check out the map below for stories Minnesotans have told us about what they’re seeing in the job market.

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