Minnesota Continues Job Growth Trend
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Minnesota Continues Job Growth Trend

Unemployment rate drops to 4% in May.
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Minnesota added 12,300 jobs for May, the fifth straight month that the state has posted job gains. That’s according to the latest statistics from the Minnesota Department of Economic Development and Employment (DEED).

The private sector added 14,800 jobs. But those gains were offset by a loss of 2,500 government jobs for the month.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove was upbeat in a virtual press conference to discuss the latest numbers.

“Minnesotans are getting back to work,” he said. “Our unemployment rate is dropping for the right reasons and there’s a lot of opportunity in the Minnesota economy as we come out of this pandemic and move into the next chapter of our state’s growth.”

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4 percent in May, a marginal improvement compared to the prior month. The drop was driven by people moving from unemployment back into being employed. Sometimes the unemployment rate drops for the “wrong” reason: people simply exiting the labor force.

The state lost 416,300 jobs from February to April 2020 when the pandemic hit. The state has now regained 60 percent of those jobs that were lost.

“All the industries that were hardest hit are the ones that are coming back the strongest,” said Grove.

Sectors posting strong gains in May included:

Industry Jobs gained
Leisure & Hospitality +6,000
Professional & Business Services +3,500
Other Services +2,200
Construction +1,200
Manufacturing +800

 

According to the latest federal numbers on Thursday morning, a total of 412,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. That number has been trending down in recent weeks. But the new filings are an increase of 37,000 filings compared to the revised number of 375,000 for the week before that.

Economists generally regarded the increase as a minor blip in the trend of unemployment filings.

“We’ve said many times that this road out of the pandemic into what’s next is going to be rocky, there will be some bumps along the way,” said Grove.

Grove said that DEED is hearing many anecdotal reports that employers are boosting wages and adding other perks to draw workers in the current climate.

“It’s a worker’s market out there right now,” said Grove.