Reemployment After COVID-19 Layoffs in Minnesota
New study by DEED provides first look at who was hired back, who found new work and who remained out of work
May 20, 2021
St. Paul – A new study released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) presents early findings about Minnesota workers who were laid off during March through June of 2020 and the most up-to-date information we have about their employment status. The study by DEED Labor Market Information (LMI) Office analyst Alessia Leibert will be featured in the June issue of Minnesota Economic Trends, a quarterly publication of DEED’s LMI office.
Specifically, the study considers:
• How many and which workers were brought back to jobs at their old employer;
• Those who continued to work second jobs;
• Those who found new jobs; and
• Those who continued to collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits during the initial pandemic employment rebound in the summer of 2020.
The information about how different groups of workers fared is analyzed by part-time/full-time and regular/seasonal status, as well as by wage level, racial and ethnic background, industry and occupation.
This analysis highlights the need to help workers laid off from industries where employment may recover more slowly move to higher demand industries that have a better chance of providing stable employment. It finds that the same challenges that hindered hiring pre-pandemic, including racial disparities and biases, skills gaps, location mismatch, less desirable work conditions and low-paying jobs continue and are in some cases exacerbated by conditions caused by the pandemic. This article, together with a upcoming Trends article by Leibert entitled Where Are the Workers?, points to steps that could be taken to help address these challenges and connect Minnesotans who need work with the employers who need them.
The article examines how many Minnesotans who filed a UI claim in the early months of the pandemic returned to work in third quarter 2020, which saw the initial job rebound during the pandemic, and with what outcomes. Table 1 summarizes the net results of movements in and out of employment from the base period to 3rd quarter 2020 for 631,040 claimants to identify how many returned to work and how many did not.
Employment status in July-Sept 2020 Detailed employment status % of total UI claimants Median weeks of UI claimed before July 2020 % workers whose hourly wages fell by >=10%
EMPLOYED 1. Recalled by same employer that laid them off N=374,986 59% 7 16%
1. Continued working in second job N=46,935 7% 9 21%
1. Changed employer N= 56,800 9% 9 32%
1. Did not return to work and continued to request UI benefits N=133,115 21% 14 NA
1. Did not return to work and did not file a UI claim after June 2020 N=19,204 3% 6 NA
Total workers who filed a UI claim from March to June 2020 N=631,040 100% 9 19%
See the entire article Reemployment After COVID-19 Layoffs in Minnesota: Early Findings for greater detail and further analysis.
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.