Minnesota unemployment rate drops to record low 1.8%
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says Minnesota’s unemployment rate for the month of June dropped to a new record low of 1.8%, that’s the lowest it’s been since tracking began in 1976.
DEED says the lowest pre-pandemic unemployment rate was 2.5% in early 1999.
Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6%.
“Another month has brought another record-low unemployment rate, as more Minnesotans are finding opportunity in our economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The big challenge is a historically tight labor market - we’re still down just over 72,000 people in our labor force since before the pandemic. We’re continuing to grow DEED’s Summer of Jobs campaign to highlight job market opportunities, and to help employers find workers in labor pools they may have previously overlooked.”
The employment recovery has not been consistent for all Minnesotans. Black and Hispanic Minnesotans have higher labor force participation rates, at 68.9% and 79.7% respectively in June 2022, than white Minnesotans, at 68.4% in June. The labor force participation rate for white Minnesotans has fallen consistently over the pandemic period, largely due to an aging workforce.
According to DEED, the unemployment rate by race is higher for African Americans, at 7.4%, than any other race. The African American demographic is the only one to raise its unemployment rate, while rates for every other race have declined. Each of the races stated had unemployment rates between 2% to 3%- 7% is the only outlier.
“There is systemic racism in our economy, and there are challenges that Black Minnesotans face in finding opportunities in our economy. And, there’s a lack of connection between black communities and employers that have longer term, more stable job opportunities, and that’s something the state government needs to focus on,” Grove said.
The Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area had the highest job growth rate in the state in June at 4%, adding just over 2,200 jobs since June 2021. The Twin Cities followed with a 3.6% increase, Duluth at 3.4%, St. Cloud at 3.1% and Rochester at 2.9%.
“I continually hear from the businesses that we talk to that they’re trying to hire people but can’t find individuals. I mean, 1.8% is really an eye-poppingly low unemployment rate,” Grove said.
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