Number of unemployment applications received last month in Minnesota doubles all of 2019

The number of applications for unemployment insurance in Minnesota reached a new milestone amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove.

In the last month the DEED office has received double the amount of applications it received in all of 2019. Last year, there were 219,625 active unemployment accounts. As of Monday, DEED had received 451,790 unemployment applications.

"So the scope and scale of this is stunning, of those aren’t just numbers, those are real people, who are either completely out of work or working much less than they did before," said Grove. "They have family to take care of and bills to pay."

The amount applying for unemployment equates to 14 percent of Minnesota's labor force. How does that breakdown? Grove offered some statistics of those who have applied:

  • 15% are under 25 years old
  • 21% are older than 55 years old
  • 45% are men, 55% are women

Grove said, however, the most "startling" disparities came down to race. He said 25.8% of all people of color in Minnesota's labor force have applied for unemployment insurance. This is compared to 12.2% of all whites in the labor force.

"We're aware of that and the administration is tracking closely as the administration we move to get those benefits out as closely as we possibly can," said Grove.

For more information about the unemployment insurance program, click here.