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Minnesota Adds 14,800 Private Sector Jobs in May

Labor force participation rate increases as more and more Minnesotans head back to work


St. Paul – Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 4.0% in May, from 4.1% in April, 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 expanding labor force pushed Minnesota’s labor force participation rate up two-tenths of a percentage point to 67.9%, the first increase in three months. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. The U.S. labor force participation rate ticked down one-tenth point to 61.6%.

For the fifth straight month, Minnesota gained jobs. Minnesota added 12,300 jobs in May, up 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis with the private sector up 14,800 jobs or 0.6%. Job growth was strongest in industries, like Leisure & Hospitality, and parts of the state, like the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic. The U.S. gained 559,000 jobs, up 0.4% over the month in May, with the private sector up 492,000 jobs or 0.4%.

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 249,700 jobs, or 60.0% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 62.2% of the jobs lost.

“Minnesota is moving in the right direction with steady job growth,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “At DEED, we are continuing to proactively work with Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits, not only to remind them of their work search requirement, but to help them connect with employers who are hiring now.”

Based on 12-month moving averages, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans fell in May to 6.9% from 8.9% in April and for Latinx Minnesotans, it fell to 6.6% in May, down from 7.7% in April. White Minnesotans were at 5.1% in May, down from 5.6% in April.

From April to May, average hourly earnings for all private sector workers rose 13 cents to $32.56. Over the year average hourly earnings rose 73 cents, up 2.3%. At 35.2 hours per week, May’s average work week was six-tenths of an hour longer than in April and one and a tenth hours, or 3.2%, longer than a year ago.

Over the month in May, seven supersectors gained jobs, three lost jobs and Mining & Logging held steady on a seasonally adjusted basis over the month in Minnesota.

Gains were largest in Leisure & Hospitality up 6,000 or 2.7%; Professional & Business Services, up 3,500 jobs or 1.0%; Other Services, up 2,200 or 2.2%; Construction up 1,200 or 0.9%; Manufacturing, up 800 or 0.3% and Financial Activities up 200 or 0.1% over the month.

Government lost 2,500 jobs, down 0.6%; Trade, Transportation and Utilities lost 2,300 jobs, down 0.4% and Information lost 200 jobs, down 0.5%.

Over the year in May, Minnesota gained 229,480 payroll jobs, up 8.8% over May 2020. The private sector gained 211,352 jobs, up 9.5% over the year in May. U.S. employment grew 9.0% over the year with the private sector up 10.4% in May.

In Minnesota, over-the-year job gains were strongest in Leisure & Hospitality, up 58.3% or 85,784 jobs; Trade, Transportation & Utilities, up 7.5% or 35,619 jobs; Education & Health Services, up 6% or 30,619 jobs; Other Services, up 31.0% or 24,732 jobs and Professional & Business Services up 23,229 jobs or 6.7%. Information was the only supersector showing an over-the-year loss, down 1,896 jobs or 4.5%. All other supersectors were showing gains over the year in Minnesota and the U.S.

Employment rose in April over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Growth was strongest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which were hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic recession.

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

Seasonally Adjusted Not Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rate May 2021 April 2021 May 2021 May 2020

Minnesota 4.0% 4.1% 3.7% 11.1%

U.S. 5.8% 6.1% 5.5% 13.0%

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

Minnesota 2,829,700 2,817,400 229,480 8.8%

U.S. 144,894,000 144,335,000 11,966,000 9.0%

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

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

Total 229,480 8.8 9.0

Private 211,352 9.5 10.4

Logging & Mining 872 15.6 2.2

Construction 3,194 2.5 5.9

Manufacturing 8,938 3.0 5.5

Trade, Transport. & Utilities 35,619 7.5 8.8

Information -1,896 -4.5 5.1

Financial Activities 189 0.1 2.2

Prof. & Business Services 23,229 6.7 7.9

Ed. & Health Services 30,691 6.0 6.4

Leisure & Hospitality 85,784 58.3 41.7

Other Services 24,732 31.0 16.9

Government 18,128 4.6 1.6

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

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

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA 149,293 8.4

Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA 13,379 11.4

Rochester MSA 7,791 6.9

St. Cloud MSA 7,350 7.4

Mankato MSA 4,160 8.1

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. 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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