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Minnesota's Unemployment Rate Ticks Down to 4.1% in April

Minnesota continues 2021 job gains; this month marks one year since the pandemic trough, reflected in year-over-year statistics


St. Paul – Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 4.1% in April, from 4.2% in March, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The unemployment rate decline was due to people moving from unemployment to employment. The U.S. unemployment rate rose one-tenth to 6.1% in April.

For the fourth straight month, Minnesota gained jobs. Minnesota gained 11,300 jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, up 0.4%, following growth of 20,400 (adjusted) jobs in March, 12,400 jobs in February and 51,600 jobs in January. Minnesota’s private sector gained 8,100 jobs of those 11,300 jobs in April, up 0.3%. The U.S. gained 266,000 jobs, up 0.2% over the month in April.

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 235,300 jobs, or 56.5% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 57.7% of the jobs lost.

“We’re continuing to see job growth,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “At DEED, we are proactively working with Minnesotans looking for work and connecting them with employers who need talent. There are many good jobs available now.”

Many Minnesotans, particularly those from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, are looking for work now. Based on 12-month moving averages, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans was 8.9% in April, down from 9.0% in March and up from 4.3% one year ago. The Latinx unemployment rate was 7.7% in April, holding steady from March, and up from 4.4% one year ago. White Minnesotans were at 5.6% in April, down from 5.9% in March, and up from 3.5% one year ago.

In Minnesota, eight supersectors gained jobs and three lost jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis.

• Gains were largest in Professional & Business Services, up 4,800 jobs or 1.3%; Government, up 3,200 jobs or 0.8%; Leisure & Hospitality up 3,100 jobs or 1.4%; Trade, Transportation & Utilities up 2,500 jobs or 0.5%; and Construction up 1,100 jobs or 0.9% over the month.

• Other Services added 800 jobs, up 0.8%; and Manufacturing and Mining & Logging each added 100 jobs over the month.

• Losses were in Education & Health Services, down 3,000 jobs or 0.6%; Financial Activities down 1,200 jobs or 0.6% and Information down 200 jobs or 0.5%.

With this release, we are now comparing over the year employment change to April 2020, the month of deepest jobs losses during the pandemic recession, which saw the loss of 396,315 jobs (down 13.4%) in total nonfarm and 368,082 jobs (down 14.6%) in the private sector over the year in Minnesota.

In April 2021, Minnesota gained 230,463 payroll jobs, up 9.0% over the year. April 2021 gains put Minnesota 165,852 jobs short of April 2019 employment. The private sector gained 218,040 jobs, up 10.1% over the year, putting the private sector 150,042 jobs short of its April 2019 level. U.S. employment grew 10.9% over the year with the private sector up 13.3% in April.

In both Minnesota and the U.S., all but two supersectors are now showing over-the-year job gains. Both Minnesota and the U.S. lost jobs in Logging & Mining. Minnesota also lost jobs in Information while the U.S. also lost jobs in Government.

• In Minnesota, over-the-year job gains were strongest in the three sectors hit the hardest during the pandemic, Leisure & Hospitality, up 69.8% or 85,732 jobs; Other Services, up 30.8% or 23,965 jobs and Trade, Transportation & Utilities, up 44,909 or 9.8%. Growth was also strong in Construction, up 8.3% or 9,073 jobs; Professional & Business Services, up 5.7% or 19,603 jobs and Education & Health Services, up 5.7% or 28,988. Government grew 3.1%, up 12,423 jobs and Manufacturing grew 2.6%, adding 7,739 jobs. Financial Activities was essentially flat, adding just 81 jobs over the year.

• Three supersectors in Minnesota showed strength over the year compared to the U.S.: Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services and Government. All three of these supersectors lost a greater share of jobs in April 2020 in Minnesota compared to the nation.

Employment rose in April over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Minnesota and U.S. Employment and Unemployment – April 2021

Seasonally Adjusted Not Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rate April 2021 March 2021 April 2021 April 2020

Minnesota 4.1% 4.2% 4.1% 9.1%

U.S. 6.1% 6.0% 5.7% 14.4%

Non-Farm Jobs April 2021 March 2021 April '20- April '21 Level Change April '20- April '21 % Change

Minnesota 2,815,300 2,804,000 230,463 9.0%

U.S. 144,308,000 144,042,000 14,147,000 10.9%

Minnesota and U.S. Over-the-Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: April 2020-April 2021

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

Total 230,463 9.0 10.9

Private 218,040 10.1 13.3

Logging & Mining -118 -1.9 -0.7

Construction 9,073 8.3 14.3

Manufacturing 7,739 2.6 7.7

Trade, Transport. & Utilities 44,909 9.8 10.4

Information -1,932 -4.6 2.2

Financial Activities 81 0 2.5

Prof. & Business Services 19,603 5.7 8.7

Ed. & Health Services 28,988 5.7 7.7

Leisure & Hospitality 85,732 69.8 61.9

Other Services 23,965 30.8 23.4

Government 12,423 3.1 -1.0

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Over-the-Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: April 2020-April 2021

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

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA 151,350 8.7

Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA 11,782 10.0

Rochester MSA 8,236 7.4

St. Cloud MSA 7,610 7.8

Mankato MSA 4,557 9.0

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 resources to help Minnesotans prepare for and find employment now at

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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