Minnesota's unemployment rate rises to 9.9% in month of May

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in May according to numbers released recently by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Minnesota added 9,800 payroll jobs in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 0.4 percent, with the private sector adding 27,500 jobs, up 1.3 percent, during the month. Government lost 17,700 jobs from April to May.

“Our economy is facing an unprecedented challenge, which these numbers reflect. Slight job increases this month are a positive sign, but the employment rebound will continue to vary greatly by sector,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “DEED is working with other state agencies, business and labor leaders and public health experts to get Minnesotans back to work as quickly and safely as possible.”

May’s employment numbers capture the job situation immediately prior to the lifting of the stay at home order and the phased reopening of non-critical sector businesses in the state.

The rapid changes in employment due to the pandemic have proved difficult to measure using traditional methodologies.

After review of the numbers, April’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been revised up to 8.7 percent from 8.1 percent, which is an unusually large revision.

Seasonally adjusted gains in May were led by leisure and hospitality up 13,800 jobs, with accommodation and food service gaining 11,900 of the jobs. 

Retail trade gained 10,300 jobs, followed by construction up 7,100 and other services (including personal services) up 3,500 and health care and social assistance up 3,100.

Seasonally adjusted losses in May were led by government, which was down 17,700 jobs, with 16,300 of those losses in local government.

Other large seasonally adjusted job losses were in information, down 1,700 and manufacturing, down 1,200 jobs. U.S. unemployment decreased 1.4 points to 13.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in May.

The U.S. gained 2.5 million payroll jobs in May, up 1.9 percent with the private sector gaining 3.1 million, up 2.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In Minnesota, the number of people unemployed increased by 35,770 to 302,741 in May, while the number employed fell by 34,235 to 2,765,258.

The Minnesota labor force dropped by 1,535 people in May, with the labor force participation rate remaining stable at 68.9 percent.

Over the year in May, Minnesota shed 393,101 payroll jobs, down 13.1 percent, while the private sector shed 346,662 jobs, down 13.5 percent.

This is an improvement for the private sector, which was down 14.3 percent in April over the year. All super sectors lost jobs in May over the year in Minnesota.