Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped substantially in September, down to 6.0% from 7.4% in August, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). However, the drop was caused in large part due to a dip in the state’s labor force participation rate to 68.4%, a drop of 1.3%. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate stood at 70.2% in February 2020.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate remains above the national average. The national labor force participation rate is at 61.4% for September and the national unemployment rate declined to 7.9% in September.

Minnesota’s jobs picture continued to improve in September, although more slowly than in previous months, with the addition of 14,800 payroll jobs, up 0.5% from August.

“We want people to know that Minnesota employers are hiring now – and many of the jobs being hired for now offer good-paying, steady employment in manufacturing, health care and other fields that offer a career ladder up,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “At DEED, we are working hard to connect Minnesotans looking for work with the employers who need them. If you’re looking for work, don’t give up – there are many good jobs out there now.”

Communities of color have been more deeply affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, experiencing higher unemployment rates. Based on the last six months’ averages, from April to September 2020, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans is 16.5%, up more than 11 percentage points from 5.1% one year ago. For Latinx Minnesotans, unemployment is at 9.7% up from 3.1% a year ago.

At the same time, there are jobs available in Minnesota right now. From August to September, the private sector added 21,000 jobs, up 0.9%. The United States gained 661,000 payroll jobs in September, up 0.5% from August.

Minnesota’s private sector shows strength compared to the nation, with an over the year decrease of 6.7% compared to the nation at 6.9%. Four sectors are now driving this strength in Minnesota: Trade, Transportation & Utilities is down 1.5% in Minnesota compared to 3.6% nationwide over the year; Professional & Business Services is down 2.5% in Minnesota compared to 5.8% nationwide; Manufacturing fell 4.8% in Minnesota compared to 5.1% nationwide; and Logging & Mining fell 15.2% in Minnesota compared to 16.1% nationwide. 

All but two supersectors saw seasonally adjusted gains over the month in Minnesota. Gains were led by:

Educational and Health Services, up 6,100 jobs or 1.2% entirely in Health Care & Social Services

Professional & Business Services up 5,600 or 1.5% with gains in both Management of Companies and Administrative & Support Services

Manufacturing added 2,400 jobs, up 0.8% with gains split evenly between Durable and Nondurable Goods

Leisure & Hospitality added 1,600 jobs overall, up 0.8%, with the gains in Accommodations & Food Services while Arts, Entertainment & Recreation lost 300 jobs over the month

Financial Activities added 1,500 jobs, Information added 1,000 jobs, Construction added 900 jobs and Mining & Logging added 100 jobs over the month

The two supersectors that saw seasonally adjusted declines over the month included: Other Services lost 100 jobs, down 0.1% and Government lost 6,200 jobs, down 1.5% with losses across all three component industries, Federal, State and Local Government.

All supersectors continued to show over-the-year job loss in Minnesota and nationally. In Minnesota, over the year job loss were still greatest in Leisure & Hospitality, down 25.4% or 71,594 jobs, Logging & Mining down 15.2% or 1,037 jobs, Information down 13.4% or 6,271 jobs and Other Services, down 10.7% or 12,165 jobs over the year.  All four of these sectors showed improvement from August.  

The number of unemployed workers in Minnesota fell to 182,763 in September, down 47,868 from August, and down 120,203 since May, when the number peaked at 302,966. The number of employed people fell by 8,431 in September, up 105,711 since its low point in May.

Employment fell in September over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas.


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