Minnesota's unemployment rate falls to 4.6% in October

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped significantly in October, down to 4.6 percent from a revised 5.9 percent in September, according to numbers released recently by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

However, the drop was due to the second consecutive significant monthly drop in the state’s labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate declined to 67.4 percent in October from a revised 68.5 percent in September.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate was 70.2 percent in February 2020, prior to the pandemic.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by one percentage point to 6.9 percent in October 2020, and the U.S. labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point to 61.7 percent in the month of October.

“COVID has brought unprecedented challenges to Minnesotans and our businesses. Just yesterday we had to take action to slow the spread of the virus, because the health and well-being of Minnesotans and our state’s economy depend on it,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner late last week. “Despite these challenges, companies in many fields are hiring. DEED will continue to help job seekers in their career journey, and our CareerForce job counselors are available right now to help job seekers look for work.”

The number of unemployed workers in Minnesota fell to 137,359 in October, down 44,573 from September, and down 165,607 since May, when the number peaked at 302,966.

The number of employed people in Minnesota fell by 2,445 in October to 2,876,635, but was still up 109,657 since its low point in May.

Communities of color continue to be more deeply affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Based on rolling averages over the last six months, from May to October 2020, the unemployment rate for black Minnesotans is 15.4 percent, up more than 10 percentage points from 5.3 percent one year ago but down 1.1 percentage points since September. In October, 31,000 black Minnesotans returned to work or found new jobs.

For Latinx Minnesotans, unemployment is at 9.6 percent, which is up from 2.6 percent a year ago. Minnesota’s jobs picture continued to slowly improve in October with the addition of 13,200 payroll jobs, up 0.5 percent from September.

The private sector added 12,900 of those jobs, up 0.5 percent.

Minnesota lost 387,800 payroll jobs from February through April and has since gained back 203,600, or 52.5 percent of those jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The United States gained 638,000 payroll jobs in October, up 0.5 percent from September.

All but two supersectors saw seasonally adjusted job gains over the month in the State of Minnesota.

Gains were led by trade, transportation and utilities, up 4,600 jobs with growth in wholesale trade and transportation, warehousing and utilities.

Retail trade lost 200 jobs, the first job loss in this sector since April.

Leisure and hospitality added 3,900 jobs almost entirely in accommodation and food services, up 3,800 jobs.

Manufacturing added 2,400 jobs almost all in non-durable goods manufacturing.

Other services added 2,200 jobs.

Educational and health services added 1,900 jobs, with educational services up 2,500 jobs and health care and social assistance down 600 jobs.

This was the first time health care and social assistance lost jobs since April.

Construction added 1,700 jobs. 

Mining and logging added 200 jobs, and financial activities gained 300 jobs.

Government added 300 jobs with losses in federal and state government as well as a gain of 2,700 jobs in local government.

Two supersectors lost jobs in Minnesota from September to October – professional and business services lost 3,100 jobs entirely in administrative and support services which was down 4,300, and information which lost 1,200 jobs.

All supersectors continued to show over-the-year job loss in Minnesota and nationally.

Over the year in October, Minnesota shed 187,897 payroll jobs, down 6.2 percent, while the private sector shed 158,253 jobs, down 6.1 percent.

The U.S. over-the-year job loss was 6 percent.

Learn more online at www.mn.gov/deed/.