Minnesota Loses Nearly 50,000 Jobs in December
A masked server in St. Paul jots down an order. Steve Skjold / Shutterstock.com

Minnesota Loses Nearly 50,000 Jobs in December

The state has only regained 36 percent of jobs lost when pandemic first hit.
A masked server in St. Paul jots down an order. Steve Skjold / Shutterstock.com

The uptick in Minnesota’s Covid-19 cases this fall pummeled the state’s jobs numbers for December. Data released on Thursday morning by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development showed that the state lost 49,800 jobs during the last month of 2020, a year that just about everyone would like to forget.

The private sector accounted for 42,900 job losses while the government sector lost 6,900 jobs last month. Government entities at all levels suffered job losses throughout 2020 as the pandemic drove declines in revenue. For the full year, Minnesota lost more than 36,000 government jobs.

The leisure and hospitality sector saw 41,100 job losses in December amid a new round of state mandated closures and restrictions for bars, restaurants, and event gatherings.

The state’s unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.4 percent in December, but that’s not exactly the good news that it seems to be: The jobless rate only declined because more Minnesotans left the labor force.

“Today’s employment data confirms what we’ve expected – the spike in cases in late fall had an impact on the economy,” said Steve Grove, DEED’s commissioner, in a statement. “The predictable loss of jobs that accompanied the sacrifice that businesses and workers had to make may turn out to be temporary, as just 10 percent of those surveyed said their job loss was permanent.”

For the full year, Minnesota lost 238,056 jobs – an 8 percent drop from a year ago. The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for 116,429 job losses over the year – a steep 43.7 percent drop year-over-year.

Minnesota lost 387,800 in February through April when the pandemic first hit. Since then, the state has regained 140,300 jobs, or 36.2 percent of the losses earlier this year.

DEED’s latest report also showed that the state lost more jobs in November than previously reported.

Last month DEED’s numbers showed that the state lost 12,600 jobs in November, which marked the first monthly job loss since April. DEED’s revised number reports that the state lost 15,500 jobs in November. That means that Minnesota lost a combined total of 65,300 jobs over November and December.

DEED originally reported the November unemployment rate at 4.4 percent but has now revised that statistic up to 4.5 percent. December’s unemployment rate declined slightly only when compared to the revised number for November.