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Minnesota Sees Largest Gain in Total Employment Since March

Unemployment Rate Ticks Down to 3.9%


August 23, 2021

St. Paul – Minnesota gained 14,500 jobs, up 0.5% in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, and the private sector gained 8,700 jobs, up 0.4%, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). These were the largest gains since March for total employment and the largest since May for private sector employment.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9% in July. This drop was due to people moving into jobs as well as a small decline in the state’s labor force participation, which also ticked down by a tenth of a point to 67.8% in July. Nationally, the unemployment rate fell a half a percentage point to 5.4% in July, with labor force participation up one-tenth to 61.7%.

Because jobs numbers have been a little bumpy across the country this last year, translating seasonally adjusted job change into a 3-month moving average helps give a clearer picture of Minnesota’s trajectory. Minnesota added 14,300 jobs, up 0.5%, in March-May; 9,100 jobs, up 0.3%, in April-June; and 9,500, up 0.3%, in May-July, continuing a growth pattern. Nationally, this compares to 0.4% growth in the first two periods and 0.5% growth during the May-July period.

“It’s always good to have a month with solid job gains, particularly in leisure and hospitality which have been hit so hard,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “We remain laser-focused on connecting as many Minnesotans as we can with available, good-paying jobs in our economy – of which there are plenty.”

Based on 12-month moving averages, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans fell in July to 3.5% from 4.5% in June and for Latinx Minnesotans, it rose one-tenth of a point to 6.7% in July compared to 6.6% in June. White Minnesotans were at 4.7% in July, down from 4.9% in June.

Over the month in July, the U.S. gained 943,000 jobs, up 0.6%, with the private sector up 703,000 jobs or 0.6%.

Over the month from June to July in Minnesota, eight supersectors gained jobs and three lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

• Gains were in Leisure & Hospitality, up 7,700 jobs or 3.4%; Government, up 5,800 jobs or 1.4%; Manufacturing, up 2,700 jobs or 0.9%; Construction, up 900 jobs or 0.7%; Information, up 600 jobs or 1.5%, Financial Activities, up 500 jobs or 0.3%; Mining & Logging, up 200 jobs or 3.2%; and Other Services, up 100 jobs or 0.1%.

• Losses were in Trade, Transportation & Utilities, down 2,600 jobs (0.5%); Education & Health Services, down 1,200 jobs (0.2%); and Professional & Business Services, down 200 jobs (0.1%) (primarily Temp Help). Losses in Trade, Transportation & Utilities were spread across all three sectors with the largest losses in Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities. Losses in Education & Health Services were all in Health Care & Social Assistance, down 1,300 jobs.

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 265,800 jobs, or 63.8% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 64.6% of the jobs lost.

June employment losses were revised upward by 5,500 in total employment and 6,900 in the private sector. June now shows growth of 4,900 jobs, up 0.2% in total employment and 3,800 jobs, up 0.2% in the private sector.

Over the year in July, Minnesota gained 140,908 payroll jobs, up 5.1%, with the private sector gaining 124,445 jobs, up 5.3%. U.S. employment grew 5.3% over the year with the private sector up 5.8%.

In Minnesota, nine supersectors gained jobs over the year, with Leisure & Hospitality, up 24% or 51,162 jobs; Education & Health Services, up 3.3% or 17,076 jobs; Professional & Business Services, up 5.8% or 20,532 jobs; Trade, Transportation & Utilities, up 2.9% or 14,641 jobs; Government, up 4.4% or 16,463 jobs; Other Services, up 6.0% or 5,994 jobs; Manufacturing, up 3.5% or 10,776 jobs; Construction, up 5.3% or 7,190 jobs; and Mining & Logging, up 19.5% or 1,120 jobs over the year. Both Financial Activities and Information showed over-the-year losses in Minnesota, down 1.2% or 2,307 jobs and down 4.1% or 1,739 jobs respectively. Nationally, all supersectors showed gains over the year.

Employment rose in July over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Growth was strongest in the Duluth-Superior and Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

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

Seasonally Adjusted Not Seasonally Adjusted

Unemployment Rate July 2021 June 2021 July 2021 July 2020

Minnesota 3.9% 4.0% 3.4% 7.6%

U.S. 5.4% 5.9% 5.7% 10.5%

Non-Farm Jobs July 2021 June 2021 July ‘20- July ‘21 Level Change July ‘20- July ‘21 % Change

Minnesota 2,845,800 2,831,300 140,908 5.1%

U.S. 146,821,000 145,878,000 7,363,000 5.3%

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

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

Total 140,908 5.1 5.3

Private 124,445 5.3 5.8

Mining & Logging 1,120 19.5 7.2

Construction 7,190 5.3 2.9

Manufacturing 10,776 3.5 2.8

Trade, Transport. & Utilities 14,641 2.9 4.4

Information -1,739 -4.1 5.9

Financial Activities -2,307 -1.2 2.0

Prof. & Business Services 20,532 5.8 6.2

Ed. & Health Services 17,076 3.3 3.2

Leisure & Hospitality 51,162 24.0 18.5

Other Services 5,994 6.0 7.3

Government 16,463 4.4 2.3

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

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

Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA 87,807 4.7

Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA 9,399 7.7

Rochester MSA 5,803 4.9

St. Cloud MSA 4,379 4.3

Mankato MSA 3,463 6.7

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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