Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1% last month

However, the labor force participation rate is stuck at Jimmy Carter levels.

This week, unemployment figures were released for the state of Minnesota, showing that the December unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent. At 3.1 percent, Minnesota is back to the pre-pandemic level of December 2019 and well below the national rate of 3.9 percent.

Minnesota employers reported cutting 2,000 jobs last month. There was a large upward revision in the November jobs number.

In a different survey, the number of people with jobs increased by about 6,000 in December and the number of unemployed fell by the same amount. At 94,000, the number of unemployed Minnesotans fell below 100,000 for the first time since January 2020. That’s the good news.

Minnesota is failing to draw in new people into the workforce. The size of the state’s labor force grew by only 200 people last month and the labor force participation rate held at 67.7 percent. You have to go back to 1978 to find a month with a lower rate.  

Despite the low unemployment rate, the number of people with jobs is still 82,000 below the pre-pandemic peak.

Minnesota does not seem to be working down the estimated 200,000 job vacancies in the state.