Minnesota Unemployment Rate Hits 9.9 Percent
How much is the Covid-19 pandemic hurting employment in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released the latest numbers on Thursday morning: the state’s unemployment rate hit 9.9 percent in May.
That’s the highest unemployment rate the state has posted on records dating back to 1976. For a few months in late 1982 and early 1983, Minnesota’s unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent amid a recession. The state’s unemployment rate during the Great Recession peaked at 8 percent.
The current jobs climate is now officially worse.
“Our economy is facing an unprecedented challenge, which these numbers reflect. Slight job increases this month are a positive sign, but the employment rebound will continue to vary greatly by sector,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a statement.
The state added 9,800 for the month reflecting an addition of 27,500 private sector jobs and the loss of 17,700 government jobs.
Sectors adding jobs in May included leisure and hospitality, retail, and construction. Sectors losing jobs last month included government, information and manufacturing.
DEED acknowledged that trying to measure unemployment in the current environment is very challenging. The agency revised April’s unemployment rate from the previously reported 8.1 percent up to 8.7 percent.
DEED’s statement on the numbers noted: “The rapid changes in employment due to the pandemic have proved difficult to measure using traditional methodologies. After review of the numbers, April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been revised up to 8.7% from 8.1%, an unusually large revision.”
DEED’s employment reports are routinely revised and updated.
While there are signs of the economy starting to rebound, it’s tough to tell by the jobs numbers. The latest federal statistics indicate that another 1.5 million Americans filed for jobless benefits last week. A total of 45.7 million have filed for unemployment during the pandemic.
According to the latest DEED data, a total of 781,491 Minnesotans have filed for unemployment insurance benefits since March 16.