Minnesota unemployment rate falls, but many leaving labor force

Minnesota’s unemployment rate is falling, although the state Department of Employment and Economic Development says the decline is due to people leaving the labor force. 

According to DEED’s latest report, the state’s adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% in January, down from 4.7% in December. 

Economic Commissioner Steve Grove said the state has recovered nearly all jobs lost in December, but people of color are still being hit the hardest. The jobless rate among Black Minnesotans is 9.5% and 7.3% among Latinos. 

President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill into law on Thursday, which will send $1,400 direct payments to many adults and extends emergency unemployment benefits through the summer. About 308,000 Minnesotans are currently receiving unemployment benefits.