Minnesota’s Record Unemployment Streak Ended in August
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Minnesota’s Record Unemployment Streak Ended in August

After months at a historic low, the state’s unemployment rate ticked up to 1.9 percent last month.
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Minnesota’s streak of historically low unemployment ended last month, according to the state’s most recent jobs report released Thursday morning.

The state’s unemployment rate grew to 1.9 percent in August, up just one-tenth of a percent from the prior month. July’s rate marked the lowest point on record, state officials said at the time. For four consecutive months, the state reported a record low unemployment rate.

To be sure, 1.9 percent is still pretty low. For context, the state’s April unemployment rate of 2.2 percent started off the historically low unemployment streak.

Minnesota also lost 3,100 jobs last month, while the state’s labor force participation rate declined to 68.2 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The August numbers showed a “pause” in growth, DEED officials said in a news release. Despite the slight downturn, DEED commissioner Steve Grove touted the state’s “resiliency.”

It’s worth noting that Minnesota’s unemployment rate is still below the national average, currently sitting at 3.7 percent. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate also surpasses the national rate of 62.4 percent.

And though the state did lose jobs overall, nearly every sector in the state reported job growth, according to DEED. On a year-over-year basis, only the construction sector and the mining and logging sector lost jobs last month. The leisure and hospitality sector, meanwhile, reported the largest year-over-year growth, adding 16,643 jobs. Arts, entertainment, and recreation also logged 10.7 percent job growth.

DEED officials noted continued gaps in unemployment by race. On a 12-month moving average, Black Minnesotans had an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent in August, down from 7.3 percent in the prior month. The rate for white Minnesotans was 2.3 percent, according to DEED.

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