Minnesota’s unemployment situation for November

Earlier today, the Minnesota Department of Economic Development (DEED) released the new employment numbers for November. And according to the new data, Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4% in November from 4.6% in October. Furthermore, our labor force participation rate increased by a half percentage point in November.

This is in contrast to September and October numbers whereby unemployment fell due to people leaving the workforce. However, these numbers do not take into account the recent temporary restrictions that were imposed after November 21st on restaurants and bars and other in-person services. The numbers were collected before this change occurred. Therefore it is quite premature to declare Minnesota is out of the woods.

Additionally, even though the number of unemployed persons fell, and labor participation slightly improved, Minnnesota experienced job losses due to a number of multiple factors. According to DEED,

Minnesota lost jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis for the first time since April as virus cases surged, businesses anticipated restrictions, and winter weather hit earlier than usual. Nonfarm employment fell by 12,600 jobs or 0.5%, erasing all but 2,600 of the 15,200 jobs gained in October. The private sector lost 10,300 jobs, down 0.4% and Government lost 2,300 jobs, down 0.6%.

These losses were concentrated in already heavily affected industries,

Losses were greatest in Leisure & Hospitality, down 10,400 jobs or 5%, followed by Information, down 600 or 1.5%, Construction, down 1,500 jobs or 1.2%, Manufacturing, down 1,900 jobs or 0.6% and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, down 1,200 or 0.2% in November.

Other supersectors like mining and logging experience no change and others like financial activities, professions and business services, as well as education and health services, experienced job gains between October and November.

Over the year changes

When compared to 2019,

All supersectors continued to show over-the-year job loss in Minnesota and nationally. Over-the-year job losses were still greatest in Leisure & Hospitality, down 28.4% or 76,008 jobs, Information, down 15.1% or 6,990 jobs, Logging & Mining, down 14.0% or 920 jobs, Other Services, down 9.4% or 10,786 jobs and Government, down 7.3% or 32,048 jobs over the year. U.S. over-the-year job loss stood at 6.0% with the private sector down 6.1% in November, very little changed from October.

Minnesota and U.S. Employment and Unemployment – November 2020

Seasonally Adjusted

Not Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rate

November 2020 

October 2020

November 2020

November 2019












November 2020

October 2020

November ’19-
November ’20 Level Change

November ’19-
November ’20

% Change











Source: DEED

All in all, this is evidence again of just how much the restrictions on the leisure and hospitality industry are holding back recovery and job growth in that sector.