Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to Historic Low
Year over year, Minnesota’s hospitality sector added more than 36,000 jobs in March. Shutterstock

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Drops to Historic Low

In March, the state logged an unemployment rate of 2.5%, the lowest point since 1999.
Year over year, Minnesota’s hospitality sector added more than 36,000 jobs in March. Shutterstock

Nationwide, the economic picture is still something of a mixed bag. Though inflation has grown at its fastest clip in more than 40 years, the unemployment rate has fallen to historic lows.

Those trends are holding true in Minnesota. On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that the state’s unemployment rate last month fell to its lowest point since February 1999.

In March of this year, Minnesota reported an unemployment rate of 2.5%, down from 2.7% in the prior month.

Notably, though, the department acknowledged that “wages are not currently keeping up with the rate of inflation.

“In Minnesota, the average hourly wage increase for all private sector workers, at 4.9% over the year, was almost half of 8.5% inflation in March 2022,” DEED said in a news release.

The state’s unemployment rate also varies significantly by race. According to DEED, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans (7.1%) was more than double the rate for white Minnesotans (3.0%). Hispanic residents in the state, meanwhile, logged an unemployment rate of 5.1%. DEED officials said that the state’s “employment recovery has not been consistent for all Minnesotans.”

Meanwhile, DEED said that Minnesota added 11,500 jobs in March, up 0.4% over the prior month. It’s the sixth consecutive month of job growth for the state, according to the department.

As in prior months, the hospitality sector showed a remarkable rebound compared to a year ago, when restaurants and bars were still recovering from months of government-mandated shutdowns and restrictions. Year over year, the hospitality sector added more than 36,000 jobs. The manufacturing sector, meanwhile, added nearly 13,000 new jobs.

“It’s good news for Minnesota that more people are returning to the labor force as job growth continues to surge,” DEED commissioner Steve Grove said in the release.

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