Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops for Second Straight Month

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops for Second Straight Month

Amid a continued labor shortage, the state’s unemployment rate fell a tenth of a percent from August to September.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell slightly for the second consecutive month in September, going from 3.3 percent to 3.2 percent, according to figures from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The rate also again bested the national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

The improving unemployment rate comes amid a continually tightening labor market.

“We’re working to prepare people who have been out of the labor force to go to work,” said DEED commissioner Steve Grove in a news release. “[We’re also] encouraging employers to reach out to people with disabilities and other groups with higher unemployment rates, [as well as] seeking solutions to challenges facing people who want to work, including our state’s growing child care shortage.”  

But even as the labor shortage weighs on DEED, employers, and other stakeholders, job growth appears to be slowing. The state added only 100 jobs last month, according to seasonally adjusted figures. Additionally, reported gains for August were revised from the initial figure of 1,100 jobs gained to 400 jobs gained.

In September, six major industries shed jobs. Education and health care shed the most, losing 2,400. Professional and business services shed 900; information, 800; government, 400; and construction, 300.

The job gains came from only four industries. Transportation and utilities added the most from August to September, with 2,700 positions created. The other gains were made in financial activities (1,300 jobs added), manufacturing (700), and leisure and hospitality (700). Logging and mining, meanwhile, held steady.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area (MSA) suffered the most year-over-year losses last month of any MSA region in the state, experiencing a loss of 3,690 jobs. Mankato gained the most, adding 494 jobs.