Minnesota lost workers and jobs in December

Last month Minnesota’s media celebrated 14 consecutive months of job growth in the state. In December, that came to a halt:

Star Tribune: Minnesota’s job growth streak came to an end in December

Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota lost jobs in December after 14 months of growth

Kare 11: Minnesota unemployment ticks up as state loses jobs in December

Fox 21: Minnesota’s Unemployment Rate Increased To 2.5%, Remains Near An All-Time Low

Indeed, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics does, indeed, show that Minnesota lost 5,200 jobs in December.

But I have consistently argued that to assess the health of Minnesota’s labor market we ought to pay attention not just to the number of jobs but also to the number of people employed. While the number of jobs in our state rose for 14 months before December the number of people employed did not and it fell again in December, by 2,920. This was the sixth consecutive month of declining employment in Minnesota and there are now 38,724 fewer Minnesotans employed than there were in June, as Figure 1 shows.

Figure 1: Monthly change in the number of jobs and people employed in Minnesota, 2022

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

You’d be foolish to make forecasts based on one month’s data, especially when the fall in the number of jobs in December was driven entirely by lost jobs in government. But, hopefully, this will prompt Minnesota’s media to finally take a serious look at the state’s labor market rather than simply parroting whatever the administration’s line happens to be.