Minnesota Unemployment Rate Hit Another Record Low in May
After a dip in jobs last month, the construction industry added 4,100 jobs in May 2022. Joseph Kreiss / Shutterstock.com

Minnesota Unemployment Rate Hit Another Record Low in May

The state’s unemployment rate was 2 percent in May, marking the lowest point on record.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate has hit a record low for the second month in a row. In May, the state’s unemployment rate was 2 percent, down from 2.2 percent in April.

The May figure marked the lowest unemployment rate since the state began tracking that data in 1976, according to the latest monthly jobs report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Until now, April’s unemployment rate was the lowest point on record.

As in prior months, Minnesota’s unemployment rate was lower than the national rate, which registered at 3.6 percent in May. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate, which grew a tenth of a percent to 68.4 percent, also bested the national average, which was 62.3 percent, according to DEED.

In total, Minnesota added 6,600 jobs in May.

“Minnesota’s on course to continue adding jobs – if employers can find workers to fill them,” DEED commissioner Steve Grove said in a news release. “We’re still down more than 75,000 people in our labor force since before the pandemic.”

After a dip in jobs last month, the construction industry added 4,100 jobs in May. The number of leisure and hospitality industry jobs, however, fell by 4,300 last month.

On a regional basis, the Mankato metropolitan area registered the biggest rate of increase in employment, logging a 3 percent increase. The Twin Cities metro wasn’t far behind with a 2.9 percent increase in total employment.

The specter of a recession still looms, though. This week, the S&P 500 dropped into a “bear market” again, meaning the value of its stocks declined by about 20 percent. Bear markets often, but not always, signal an oncoming recession. DEED officials acknowledged the uncertainty in the market with a refrain they’ve used in the last few jobs reports: “In Minnesota and across the nation, wages are not currently keeping up with the rate of inflation.”

According to DEED, average hourly earnings rose by $1.12 percent, which is less than half of the recent increase in consumer prices.