Minnesota unemployment falls, workforce participation rises

Out of the 416,300 jobs lost in the state from February-April 2020, Minnesota has gained back 289,700 jobs.

Minnesota is slowly recovering from the lows of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state gained 17,100 jobs in September and the private sector gained 17,700 jobs, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). By comparison, the U.S. gained 194,000 jobs in September and the private sector added 317,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate in Minnesota dropped from 3.8 percent to 3.7 percent due to people moving from unemployment into employment. Consequently, Minnesota’s labor force participation rate inched up 0.1 percent to 67.9 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent in September, as did the labor force participation rate which fell to 61.6 percent.

The movement is small, but needed, after record-high vacancies during the second quarter of 2021. Employers reported 205,000 vacancies, up 40 percent from the previous record set in 2019.

DEED found 32 percent of vacancies were for part-time employment, and 11 percent of vacancies were for seasonal or temporary work. Around 70 percent of the vacancies required no education beyond high school. Demand was highest in the spare for food preparation and serving workers, DEED reported.

“DEED is laser-focused on connecting people who need work with the Minnesota employers who need them now,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove stated.

Out of the 416,300 jobs lost in the state from February-April 2020, Minnesota has gained back 289,700 jobs.

“Job growth is up, and so are wages – that’s a good thing,” Grove stated. “Still, our labor market is incredibly tight, and our agency is committed to continuing to invest in innovative partnerships and solutions to help businesses find workers.”

Minnesota experienced job gains in leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; construction; educational and health services; information; and mining and logging.

The state experienced losses in financial activities; government; manufacturing; and other services.

DEED also launched a campaign in October to promote Minnesota to businesses and talent. A new economic development website, joinusmn.com, highlights what the state excels in and what it has to offer. The state is known for its small or startup business success rate, coming in first place in the nation for a five-year survival rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"A history of extraordinary innovation across many industries makes Minnesota a global epicenter for problem-solving," Grove stated. "As we write the next chapter of our economy emerging from the pandemic, we must highlight what's happening here so that more people and businesses can join us. Inclusive growth that gives everyone a true opportunity to succeed must be our North Star."

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