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Minnesota continues to gain back jobs lost during pandemic

A new report shows that unemployment continues to drop, while labor force participation is up.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) released a new report on unemployment Thursday, saying the pandemic recovery is moving in the "right direction."

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate lowered a tenth of a percent in May, to 4% from 4.1% in April.

DEED says the labor force participation rate also went up two-tenths of a percent, to 67.9%. That's the first increase in three months.

The national unemployment rate is dropping as well, falling three-tenths of a percent in April. But the U.S. labor force participation rate went down by a tenth of a percent.

Minnesota also gained jobs for the fifth consecutive month, adding 12,300 in May. That's up four-tenths of a percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector was up 14,800 jobs, or six-tenths of a percent.

The hospitality industry is one area that saw the most growth with 6,000 new jobs, followed by professional and business services with 3,500. Government, on the other hand, lost 2,500 jobs.

The Twin Cities and Duluth, which were the hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic, saw the most growth by location.

“Minnesota is moving in the right direction with steady job growth,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “At DEED, we are continuing to proactively work with Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits, not only to remind them of their work search requirement, but to help them connect with employers who are hiring now.”

Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state has since gained 249,700 jobs, which is about 60% of the jobs lost.

The unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans also fell in May, to 6.9% from 8.9% in April. For Latinx Minnesotans it fell to 6.6% in May, down from 7.7% in April.

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