Minnesota unemployment down, labor force participation rate up

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released the recent numbers for Minnesota. According to the new data, in May, Minnesota added 14,800 jobs, and the Labor force participation rate increased.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 4.0% in May, from 4.1% in April, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The unemployment rate decline was due to people moving from unemployment to employment. The expanding labor force pushed Minnesota’s labor force participation rate up two-tenths of a percentage point to 67.9%, the first increase in three months. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. The U.S. labor force participation rate ticked down one-tenth point to 61.6%.

For the fifth straight month, Minnesota gained jobs. Minnesota added 12,300 jobs in May, up 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis with the private sector up 14,800 jobs or 0.6%. Job growth was strongest in industries, like Leisure & Hospitality, and parts of the state, like the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic. The U.S. gained 559,000 jobs, up 0.4% over the month in May, with the private sector up 492,000 jobs or 0.4%.

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 249,700 jobs, or 60.0% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 62.2% of the jobs lost.

Minnesota and U.S. Employment and Unemployment – May 2021
 Seasonally AdjustedNot Seasonally Adjusted
Unemployment RateMay 2021April 2021May 2021May 2020
Non-Farm JobsMay 2021April 2021May ’20- May ’21 Level ChangeMay ’20- May ’21 % Change

As expected, job gains have been strongest in the industries that were most affected by the coronavirus-induced shutdown.

While Minnesota is nowhere near its pre-pandemic employment levels, May employment numbers show some consistent improvement. However, extended unemployment benefits still present a threat in getting Minnesotans back to work.