Minnesota says state unemployment hit a record low of 2% in May

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Minnesota on Thursday reported a record low monthly unemployment figure of 2% for May, citing records going back to 1976.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development said the state gained a net 6,600 jobs in May, up 0.2% from May of last year on a seasonally adjusted basis, and following the addition of a revised 11,700 jobs added in April. Minnesota has now gained jobs for eight months in a row, the department said.

“Minnesota’s on course to continue adding jobs — if employers can find workers to fill them. We’re still down more than 75,000 people in our labor force since before the pandemic.” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove in a statement. “That’s why we’ve launched our ‘Summer of Jobs’ campaign to highlight the many opportunities in the job market, and to help employers find workers in labor pools they may have previously overlooked.”

The unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a point to 2% in May, a decline that was entirely due to people moving from unemployment to employment, DEED said. The labor force participation rate — measuring those working and actively looking for work — rose from 68.3% to 68.4%.

Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6% in May and the labor force participation rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 62.3%.

The state’s private sector gained 7,500 jobs, up 0.3% year-on-year, and compared with a revised 11,000 in April. The U.S. gained 390,000 jobs, up 0.3% from April to May, with the private sector adding 333,000 jobs, also up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

DEED said its Summer of Jobs campaign includes job shadowing some of the best-paying in-demand jobs available in the state, including manufacturing, health care, technology and beyond. It will also share best practices and opportunities for employers to find talent in groups too often overlooked, such as immigrant communities, Minnesotans with disabilities, and people recently released from correctional facilities. The campaign kicked off in Mankato this week..

Employment recovery has not been consistent for all Minnesotans: Black and Hispanic Minnesotans continue to experience higher unemployment rates than white Minnesotans, based on 12-month moving averages to help even out inconsistencies due to small sample sizes. Both Black and Hispanic Minnesotans have higher labor force participation rates than white Minnesotans, at 69.9% for Black Minnesotans and 79.6% for Hispanic Minnesotans and 68.4% for white Minnesotans.

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