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Minnesota's unemployment rate hits historic low

April’s unemployment rate was down from 2.5% in March, marking the seventh month the figure has decreased, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported Thursday, May 19.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove
DEED Commissioner Steve Grove
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s unemployment rate reached 2.2% in April, the lowest level since the state first started tracking the statistic nearly 50 years ago.

April’s unemployment rate was down from 2.5% in March, marking the seventh month the figure has decreased, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported Thursday, May 19. The national unemployment rate for April was 3.6%.

State officials attributed the unemployment rate drop entirely to people moving from unemployment to employment. As Minnesota’s unemployment continued to decline, its workforce participation rate increased from 68.1% to 68.3%, state employment department officials said. Meanwhile, the national workforce participation rate declined 0.2% to 62.2%.

Minnesota has not regained all the jobs it lost at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In February-April of 2020 the state lost more than 417,000 jobs and as of April 2022 added 329,500 jobs — 79% of that loss.

Minnesota gained 11,900 jobs from March to April. Growth sectors in April included 1,800 manufacturing jobs, 4,700 jobs in financial activities, 3,900 in professional and business services, 2,700 in leisure and hospitality and 1,300 in government. The construction industry lost 1,000 jobs and trade transportation and utilities lost 1,700. Mining and logging lost 200.

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"Our economy remains strong, job growth continues, and more people continue to return to work," employment department Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. "However, racial disparities in employment remain.”

Unemployment dropped among white, Black and Hispanic Minnesotans in April, but at 6.7% Black unemployment remains significantly higher than the state as a whole.

Grove said his agency is committed to helping all Minnesotans connect with employers in need of workers.

Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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