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Minnesota's Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.4% in November


December 18, 2020

St. Paul - Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped again in November, down to 4.4% from 4.6% in October, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This month, the unemployment rate decline in Minnesota was due to people moving into employment. November employment data were gathered before November 21, when in-person service at restaurants and bars was temporarily paused and fitness and entertainment centers were temporarily closed to slow the spread of the virus.

Minnesota lost jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis for the first time since April as virus cases surged, businesses anticipated restrictions, and winter weather hit earlier than usual. Nonfarm employment fell by 12,600 jobs or 0.5%, erasing all but 2,600 of the 15,200 jobs gained in October. The private sector lost 10,300 jobs, down 0.4% and Government lost 2,300 jobs, down 0.6%.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but many Minnesota workers and businesses still have several tough months ahead while vaccinations are distributed and the pandemic is brought under control,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Bi-partisan support for relief targeted to suffering Minnesota small businesses and unemployed workers means help is on the way. This assistance serves as a bridge to hold people over until the arrival of additional federal funding, which remains essential for economic recovery over the coming months.”

The number of unemployed Minnesotans fell 3,557 and the number of employed state residents rose 23,769 in November, while the labor force expanded by 20,212. The labor force participation rate increased a half a percentage point to 67.9% in November.

The national unemployment rate fell to 6.7% in November from 6.9% in October, and the national labor force participation rate edged down to 61.5% from 61.7% in October, with the loss of 400,000 workers.

Communities of color continue to be more deeply affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, but there are signs of improvement. Based on rolling averages over the last six months, from June to November 2020, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans fell to 11.1%, down more than four percentage points from 15.4% in October, but still up 6 percentage points from November 2019. For Latinx Minnesotans, unemployment is at 7.7%, down more than two percentage points from 9.6% in October, but up more than three percentage points from a year ago. White Minnesotans have a six-month-rolling-average unemployment rate of 5.6%, down from 6.3% last month, but up nearly three percentage points from last year at this time.

Six supersectors lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in November, four gained jobs and Mining and Logging held steady.

• Losses were greatest in Leisure & Hospitality, down 10,400 jobs or 5%, followed by Information, down 600 or 1.5%, Construction, down 1,500 jobs or 1.2%, Manufacturing, down 1,900 jobs or 0.6% and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, down 1,200 or 0.2% in November.

• Financial Activities led the supersectors in job gains, adding 2,100 jobs in November followed by Professional & Business Services, up 1,900 jobs or 0.2%, Education & Health Services, up 1,200 jobs or 0.2% and Other Services, up 100 jobs or 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

• Mining & Logging held steady.

All supersectors continued to show over-the-year job loss in Minnesota and nationally. Over-the-year job losses were still greatest in Leisure & Hospitality, down 28.4% or 76,008 jobs, Information, down 15.1% or 6,990 jobs, Logging & Mining, down 14.0% or 920 jobs, Other Services, down 9.4% or 10,786 jobs and Government, down 7.3% or 32,048 jobs over the year. U.S. over-the-year job loss stood at 6.0% with the private sector down 6.1% in November, very little changed from October.

Employment fell in November over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

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

Seasonally Adjusted Not Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rate November 2020 October 2020 November 2020 November 2019

Minnesota 4.4% 4.6% 3.9% 2.8%

U.S. 6.7% 6.9% 6.4% 3.3%

Employment November 2020 October 2020 November '19-

November '20 Level Change November '19-

November '20

% Change

Minnesota 2,782,800 2,795,400 -191,662 -6.4

U.S. 142,629,000 142,384,000 -9,172,000 -6.0

Minnesota and U.S. Over the Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: November 2019 - November 2020

Industry Supersector OTY Job Change OTY Growth Rate (%) U.S. OTY Growth Rate (%)

Total -191,662 -6.4 -6.0

Private -159,614 -6.2 -6.1

Logging & Mining -920 -14.0 -13.9

Construction -4,407 -3.4 -2.4

Manufacturing -13,469 -4.2 -4.8

Trade, Transport. & Utilities -7,619 -1.4 -3.3

Information -6,990 -15.1 -9.4

Financial Activities -2,073 -1.1 -0.8

Prof. & Business Services -7,758 -2.0 -4.7

Ed. & Health Services -29,584 -5.3 -4.4

Leisure & Hospitality -76,008 -28.4 -19.8

Other Services -10,786 -9.4 -7.0

Government -32,048 -7.3 -5.3

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Over the Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: November 2019 - November 2020

Metropolitan Statistical Area OTY Employment Change OTY Employment Change (%)

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA -191,662 -6.4

Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA -12,174 -8.8

Rochester MSA -6,504 -5.2

St. Cloud MSA -4,366 -3.9

Mankato MSA -2,682 -4.4

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. You can see a list of the top 30 jobs in demand now in Minnesota on

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


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