State of Minnesota: Fall coronavirus case spike fueled December job losses

Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped one tenth of a percentage point from 4.5 to 4.4 percent, the state announced Thursday, with the leisure and hospitality industry bearing the brunt of the 42,900 private sector job losses last month.

According to a release from the state, the COVID-19 case spike in late fall led to decrease in private sector jobs. Businesses like restaurants and bars, entertainment venues and fitness centers showed job losses, which totaled 41,100. The decrease marks a 1.8 percent decrease from November.

In the public sector, 6,900 jobs were lost in December.

"Today’s employment data confirms what we’ve expected – the spike in cases in late fall had an impact on the economy," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "The predictable loss of jobs that accompanied the sacrifice that businesses and workers had to make may turn out to be temporary, as just 10% of those surveyed said their job loss was permanent." 

The state says the job losses in November and December erased job gains made between August and October.