Minnesota unemployment rate falls to lowest in over 20 years


Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell last month to the lowest in more than 20 years, the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Economic Development said this morning.

The state’s unemployment rate fell two tenths of a percent to 2.7% in February. That’s more than a percentage point lower than the US unemployment rate, which was 3.8% last month.

But Minnesota’s black unemployment rate, based on a 12-month moving average, still reveals a wide disparity in finding a job. It rose slightly in February and is now more than double the white unemployment rate in Minnesota.

The state also added 5,200 jobs last month, about the same level as January after the initially reported jump of 10,200 jobs was revised down to a gain of 4,800 jobs.

The job gains, however, were a little lower in percentage terms than in the United States as a whole for the month of February.

The state labor force participation rate also rose by three tenths of a percent to 67.9 percent.

“We are pleased to see another significant increase in labor force participation during this tight labor market,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “We remain focused on helping businesses connect with workers, especially in communities that are often overlooked.”

In February, education and health services led with the addition of 3,800 jobs. This was followed by 3,100 jobs in trade, transport and utilities, 900 jobs in manufacturing and 100 jobs each in information and government.

This was partially offset by a loss of 1,500 jobs in financial activities, 800 jobs in other services and 200 jobs in construction.

Leisure and hospitality, one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic, saw no change in the month, as did mining and logging.

The state has now recovered about 71% of the jobs lost since the start of the pandemic. It is still 122,334 jobs short of what it was in February 2020.


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