MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday that Minnesota’s unemployment dropped to 3.1% in February.
Private sector jobs saw a loss of 4,900, while government sector jobs increased by 400.
Minnesota’s unemployment rate decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point in February, ending at 3.1%. Similarly, the national unemployment rate dipped down by one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.5%.
Leading the state in job growth for the second consecutive month was the Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, which added 1,220 jobs in February for a 2.1% increase.
The Rochester Statistical Metropolitan Area followed the greater Mankato area in terms of employment change, as it added 228 jobs in February, up 0.2%. The St. Cloud MSA was third, as it added 192 jobs for an increase of 0.2%.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA remained mostly flat, as it lost 900 jobs, for a 0.0% change.
The Duluth-Superior MSA lost the most jobs in February in the state, as it finished down 1,289 jobs for an employment change of -0.9%.
“It’s important to note that February employment numbers don’t reflect the significant impact on Minnesota employment we’ve seen in the past 10 days due to COVID-19,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported 116,438 Minnesotans filed unemployment claims in the week ending March 21. The data also shows that number increased from nearly 4,010 filing unemployment claims the week of March 14, an increase of 112,428.
Due to the lag time between data collection and reporting, and because monthly employment data reflects payroll numbers through mid-month, a DEED spokesperson states in a release on Thursday that the department won’t expect to see a more complete picture of the impacts of COVID-19 on monthly employment numbers in Minnesota until the April data is released on May 21.