fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

New data offers more concerning signs on Minnesota’s labor market

I’ve written recently about emerging problems in Minnesota’s labor market. Specifically, between June 2018 and June 2019, our state was above average for population growth, below average for employment growth, top for unemployment growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary for July 2019 today, and the pictures remains concerning.

The state of the state

Looking at the states, Minnesota was the worst performing state in the union between July 2018 and July 2019. While the number of unemployed people fell nationally by 2.3% (154,921) and the unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 4.0%, in Minnesota not only did the number of unemployed people increase, but this increase (21,104) was the highest in the country at 25.4%. Minnesota’s unemployment rate increased over the period by 0.6 percentage points, from 2.7% to 3.3%, the second highest increase in the United States. Figure 1 shows the change in the number of unemployed in the states and District of Columbia, and Figure 2 shows the change in the unemployment rate.

Figure 1: Change in the number of unemployed people, July 2018 to July 2019

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Figure 2: Percentage point change in the unemployment rate, July 2018 to July 2019

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

These numbers have had an impact on Minnesota’s relative performance. In July 2018, our state’s unemployment rate was the 8th lowest in the United States. In July 2019, that was down to 16th.

Minnesota’s cities

What is the story with Minnesota’s cities?

From July 2018 to July 2019, each of Minnesota’s Metropolitan Statistical Area’s (MSAs) has seen its number of unemployed residents rise. These increases ranged from 18.9% in Duluth to 31.7% in Rochester, as Figure 3 shows. By contrast, for the portion of the United States in the 391 MSAs, the number of unemployed fell over the period by 3.2%.

Figure 3: Change in the number of unemployed people, July 2018 to July 2019

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Likewise for unemployment rates. From July 2018 to July 2019, the unemployment rate in the portion of the United States in MSAs fell by 0.2 percentage points, from 4.1% to 3.9%. By contrast, in all five Minnesota MSAs, the unemployment rate was higher in July 2019 than it was in July 2018, as Figure 4 shows.

Figure 4: Percentage point change in the unemployment rate, July 2018 to July 2019

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 

The US labor market is in good shape, especially considering the length of this economic expansion and some of the warning signs that have been flashing lately. But Minnesota is not part of that. Over the last year, our labor market has deteriorated. If – when – a downturn does come, we will not be as well placed to face it as we could be.

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment. 

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota: St. Cloud

    Location: St. Cloud

    Sign up HERE! Courtyard by Marriott St. Cloud 404 West Saint Germain Street St. Cloud, MN, 56301 Please join Center of the American Experiment on Tuesday, July 21 for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert Catrin Wigfall as she explains K-12 education in the state and its persistent disparities despite decades of increased spending. Following her presentation, Catrin will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude   Catrin Wigfall is a Policy Fellow at Center of the American Experiment. She is also the director of EducatedTeachersMN and EmployeeFreedomMN. Catrin’s…

    Register Now
  • Kristi Noem: The Courage to Reject a Shutdown

    Location: Online

    Sign up HERE! Join us Wednesday, July 8th for an interview with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem over Zoom. In response to COVID-19, Noem defied the norm of a statewide shutdown and let South Dakotans choose for themselves what safety precautions to take. Tune in to this live online event to hear how Governor Noem preserved her state’s economy while still keeping citizens safe. Wednesday, July 8th at Noon CT Sign up HERE!  

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota: Marshall

    Location: Marshall Golf Club

      Sign up for this event HERE! Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, July 16 at Marshall Golf Club for a breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Following his presentation, John will lead a Q&A session. 7:30 AM Check In and Breakfast 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude John Phelan is a graduate of Birkbeck College, University of London, where he earned a BSc in Economics, and of the London School of Economics where he earned an MSc. He worked in finance for ten years before becoming a professional economist. He…

    Register Now