Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Situation Prior to Impact from COVID-19

Minnesota Unemployment Dips to 3.1% in February


March 27, 2020

St. Paul – Minnesota lost 4,900 private sector jobs and gained 400 government sector jobs in February, prior to significant impacts from COVID-19 on Minnesota employment numbers, according to seasonally adjusted figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Minnesota’s unemployment rate dipped down one tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.1% . Similarly, the national unemployment rate ticked down one tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.5% .

“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.

Because of the lag time between data collection and reporting, and because monthly employment data reflects payroll numbers through mid-month, we won’t expect to see a more complete picture of COVID-19 impacts on monthly employment numbers until the April data release on May 21.

In addition to the monthly employment data report, DEED economists use other data to track the numbers of people who are jobless. This includes data on the number of new and reactivated Unemployment Insurance applications, which DEED releases regularly.

Over the year, February 2019 to February 2020, Minnesota added 2,315 payroll jobs while the private sector lost 1,618 and the government sector gained 3,933 jobs. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 70.2% in February while the employment-to-population ratio held steady at 68.1%.

Seven of the eleven major industry sectors gained jobs during February, three lost jobs and one held steady. Gainers were led by Other Services, up 2,000 jobs, Leisure & Hospitality, up 800 jobs and Manufacturing, up 600 jobs over the month. The largest losses were in Professional & Business Services, down 3,600 jobs, Trade, Transportation and Utilities, down 3,000 jobs and Education & Health Services, down 2,100 jobs.

Seven supersectors are showing over the year job losses: Logging & Mining, Manufacturing, Trade, Transportation & Utilities, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, and Education & Health Services. Despite slow overall annual growth, Minnesota outpaced the nation in three sectors, Logging & Mining, Construction and Other Services.

Average hourly earnings for all private sector workers rose in January by 34 cents to $31.50. Over the year growth in average hourly earnings rose to 5.2% from 4.8% one year ago. The average work week rose by 0.6 hours to 33.9 hours per week, up 1.8% from one year ago. Employment services (temp help) employment continued to drop over the year, down 6.2 percent.

Employment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA was mostly flat, down by 900 jobs (0.0 percent) on the year in February. The Duluth-Superior MSA also had negative OTY job growth, off by 1,289 jobs, or 0.9 percent. The other three Minnesota-based MSAs added jobs over the previous twelve months, with the largest real and proportional job growth once again coming in Mankato-North Mankato, which added 1,220 jobs, or 2.1 percent. Rochester employment growth moved back into positive territory after January’s dip into negative OTY growth.

Minnesota and U.S. Employment and Unemployment - February 2020

1. Seasonally Adjusted 1. Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA)

Unemployment Rate February 2020 January 2020 February 2020 February 2019

Minnesota 3.1% 3.2% 3.6% 3.9%

U.S. 3.5% 3.6% 3.8% 4.1%

Employment February 2020 January 2020 February '19 to '20 level of change February '19 to '20 % level of change

Minnesota 2,979,600 2,984,100 2,315 +0.1%

U.S. 152,544,000 152,271,000 1,854,000 +1.2%

Minnesota and U.S. Over the Year Employment Change: February 2019 - February 2020

  MN OTY Job Change MN OTY Growth Rate (%) US OTY Growth Rate

Total 2,315 0.1 1.2

Private -1,618 -0.1 1.3

Logging & Mining -27 -0.4 -5.8

Construction 3,159 3.0 2.9

Manufacturing -2,688 -0.8 0.2

Trade, Transport. & Utilities -2,572 -0.5 0.0

Information -1,389 -3.0 2.8

Financial Activities -585 -0.3 2.6

Prof. & Business Services -1,455 -0.4 1.2

Ed. & Health Services -3,219 -0.6 2.4

Leisure & Hospitality 3,168 1.2 1.6

Other Services 3,990 3.6 0.8

Government 3,933 0.9 1.1

Metropolitan Statistical Area OTY Employment Change: January 2019 - January 2020

Metropolitan Statistical Area OTY Employment Change (#, NSA) OTY Employment Change (%, NSA)

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA -900 0.0

Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA -1,289 -0.9

Rochester MSA 228 0.2

St. Cloud MSA 192 0.2

Mankato MSA 1,220 2.1

Visit the DEED website to see DEED’s alternative measures of unemployment. You can also find the monthly jobs numbers and unemployment data on DEED’s website.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.


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