State unemployment rate tracks down to 3.1 percent, lowest level since pre-pandemic

As companies say they are struggling to fill open jobs, the state unemployment rate has decreased to 3.1 percent according to numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate remains at 67.7 percent, ahead of the national rate at 61.9 percent.

In May 2020, Minnesota's unemployment rate was 9.9 percent, which is the highest rate ever recorded in the state.

"Today’s jobs report is a reminder that economic progress in these times is not a straight line," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "The good news remains that our economy is bursting with great job opportunities, and DEED will continue our proactive programs to Minnesota job-seekers across the state."

As many Minnesotans know, job growth has been uneven coming out of the pandemic recession.

According to the report, Minnesota gained 168,247 payroll jobs, up 6.2 percent, year-over-year. The private sector gained 163,477 jobs, up 7.1 percent, year-over-year. 

For the third report this year, Minnesota’s private sector over-the-year job growth exceeded the national average. 

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020, but has since gained 307,400 back, or 74 percent of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 77 percent of jobs lost. 

Many Minnesotans continue to be out of work, but the employment impact of the pandemic on workers has been difficult to measure. The pandemic caused some people to drop out of the workforce, lowering labor force participation, which resulted in an unemployment rate below what would be expected given job losses.