Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.6 Percent

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to 8.6 Percent

State has nearly 274,000 fewer jobs than a year ago.

How weird is the Covid-19 pandemic economy? Here’s the latest example: A Minnesota unemployment rate of 8.6 percent for June is now considered “good news.” That’s because it’s notably down from the May unemployment rate of 9.9 percent.

The latest statistics from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development offer some encouraging signals that many people are starting to return to work.

“Many Minnesotans who were laid off are beginning to return to work – which is a good sign. Yet our unemployment rate remains more than double what it was before the pandemic,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a statement. “To continue to see positive trends in our economy, we need to continue to be safe as we reopen our economy to avoid the volatility we’re seeing in other states that are dialing back due to troubling Covid-19 outbreaks. That means wearing masks and practicing social distancing.”

DEED’s numbers for June show the state adding 84,700 jobs. All but 300 of those jobs were added in the private sector. The leisure and hospitality industry added the 35,300 jobs, the most seen in any subsector. Other strong sectors included trade, transportation, and utilities which added 19,00 jobs, and education and health services which added 16,900 jobs.

But year-over-year all sectors remain in worse shape than they were a year ago. Since June 2019 the state has lost a total of 273,776 jobs: 232,053 jobs in the private sector and 41,723 government jobs. The loss of government jobs has often been an overlooked segment during the pandemic. According to DEED’s statistics, government jobs accounted for 15.2 percent of all Minnesota job losses over the last year.

Jobs within the leisure and hospitality sector account for 43.3 percent of all job losses in the private sector since last year.

DEED data indicates that since March 16 the agency has received 843,101 applications for unemployment insurance.