ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's unemployment rate inched up slightly last month, even as employers added more than 14,000 jobs.

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that the October unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, an increase of a tenth of a percentage point.

Commissioner Dan McElroy explains the increase as a statistical lip and says the job gains are encouraging.

State labor market researcher Steve Hine says hiring for consumer-sensitive retail, leisure and hospitality positions is a sign of a rebound.

The report says employers in professional and business services added 6,500 jobs in October. Jobs were also gained in transportation, utilities, education and health services, while 4,600 construction and manufacturing jobs were shed.

Minnesota's unemployment rate remains noticeably lower than the national October unemployment rate of 9.6 percent.