St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The first time in almost 8 years, Minnesota recorded a negative job growth rate last month.

The latest jobs data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows the state experienced a net loss of over 1300 jobs during the past year. That includes the loss of about 8800 jobs in February, which contributed to a slight increase in the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. It was up a tenth of a point from January at 3.1 percent.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove says a significant percentage of the job losses last month can be blamed on the brutal weather, with the construction sector experiencing a loss of 3800 jobs. He also says the negative job growth rate is also indicative of the state’s dwindling labor force.