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Unemployment remains at record low as Minnesota adds 19,100 jobs

New job numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show seasonally-adjusted unemployment held at 1.8% in July, holding at an all-time low reached in June.

People walk by a "now hiring" sign.
Two people enter Duluth Pack in Canal Park on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. Duluth's tourism tax collections have returned to pre-pandemic levels, but labor shortages and higher costs are hurting many businesses.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune
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ST PAUL — The unemployment rate in Minnesota last month remained at a record low as the state added 19,100 jobs, according to a state jobs report released Thursday, Aug. 18.

New job numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show seasonally-adjusted unemployment held at 1.8% in July, holding at an all-time low reached in June. The state continues to outperform the national unemployment rate. In July, the national unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percent to 3.5% — still nearly twice that of Minnesota’s.

July job growth significantly outpaced June, when the state economy saw 1,000 new jobs. At 0.7%, Minnesota’s job growth rate is more than double that of the national rate of 0.3%.

“Despite a very tight labor market, employers are hiring at a fast rate, and continue to offer ample opportunities for Minnesotans seeking good-paying jobs,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement about the new jobs numbers.

Leisure and hospitality was the leading growth sector in July, adding 6,700 jobs. Government added 4,500, professional and business services added 3,900 and construction added 1,100. Since the beginning of the year, leisure and hospitality has had the most growth of any sector, adding more than 23,000 jobs, state numbers show.

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While Minnesota unemployment held steady at a record low last month, the size of the labor force declined for the first time this year. With 4,000 people no longer participating in the job market, the state’s labor force participation rate shrank by one-tenth of a percent to 68.4%. For much of 2022, the workforce participation rate had been on the rise but slowing, according to DEED. The U.S. labor force participation rate is 62.6%.

Minnesota has not completely recovered its workforce after the pandemic recession. In March 2020 Minnesota’s workforce participation was 70.2%. That dropped significantly as many workplaces shuttered to slow the spread of COVID-19, and has not returned to the same level since.

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Depending on a household’s needs, the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may also help pay for weatherization services, such as: home insulation and weather stripping around doors and windows; furnace cleaning, repair or replacement; and chimney inspection and cleaning.

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