Minnesota adds 14,800 jobs in May after end of COVID-19 restrictions

The state of Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 4 percent in May as the state added 14,800 private-sector jobs, according to Minnesota DEED. 

The leisure and hospitality industry led the gains as the state ended COVID-19 restrictions on businesses. The construction industry has regained all of its jobs lost during the pandemic and is the only sector to do so as of May. 

According to new numbers released Thursday, Minnesota has regained 249,700 of the 416,300 jobs lost in February, March and April 2020. That’s about 60 percent of the jobs lost. 

Overall, the pool of people working or seeking work is still down about 89,000 people since before the pandemic. 

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, in a news conference Thursday, said Minnesota is "moving in the right direction." 

He added that wages are trending upwards in Minnesota as well, which he said was "a long time coming." 

"It's a workers' market out there right now," Grove said. "If you can raise wages, it makes you more attractive [to job seekers]." 

The unemployment rate for Black, Latinx and White Minnesotans all fell in May. For Black Minnesotans, the unemployment rate is now 6.9 percent, down from 8.9 percent in April. For Latinx people, the rate was down to 6.6 percent from 7.7 percent. White Minnesotans’ unemployment rate was 5.1 percent down from 5.6 percent in April.