After four straight months of 0.2 percent increases, the Minnesota Index climbed 0.3 percent in September. The index picked up speed despite the largest wage and salary employment drop in 12 months. Job loss was offset by an uptick in weekly manufacturing hours and a decline in the unemployment rate. The U.S. index advanced 0.2 percent for the sixth straight month. Minnesota’s index advanced faster than the U.S. index for the second straight month. Minnesota’s index is up 3.1 percent over the year compared to the 3.2 gain recorded by the U.S. index. .