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Minnesota lost 8,800 jobs in February, unemployment rate rises to 3.1 percent

Minnesota employers cut 8,800 jobs last month, causing the state’s unemployment rate to rise to 3.1 percent.

The jobless rate rose from 3 percent in January, according to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED.

The national unemployment rate in February was 3.8 percent.

“We know that Minnesota faces dwindling labor force growth,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. “We can’t have job gains without people to fill the positions.” The brutal February weather in Minnesota may also have played a role, with construction employers cutting 3,800 jobs that month. That industry’s trend, though, has been upward over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Minnesota lost 1,364 jobs over the past 12 months, making February 2019 the first month to show an annual job decline since July 2010.


The following industries added jobs in February:

  • Professional and business services led all sectors with 1,300 new jobs.
  • Financial activities added 1,000 workers.
  • Government increased by 400 jobs.


The following industries cut jobs in February:

  • Construction lost 3,800 jobs.
  • Trade, transportation and utilities cut 3,000 jobs.
  • Educational and health services employment fell by 2,300.


The unemployment rate for Minnesota black and Hispanic citizens remains higher than their white neighbors and saw increases in February. The state, though, notes sample sizes were relatively small and rates are susceptible to random measurement error.

The February unemployment figures broken down demographically are:

  • Black unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, an increase from 6.0 percent the month before.
  • Hispanic rate was 5.0 percent, an increase from 4.8 percent.
  • The rate among whites was 2.6 percent, no change from January.
  • Women recorded a 2.1 percent rate, the same as January.
  • For men, the rate was 3.8 percent, and increase from 3.7 percent.