MINNEAPOLIS — New numbers reported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show Minnesota's unemployment rate has reached a record low.
In April, unemployment dropped to 2.2%, down from 2.5% in March -- the lowest level recorded since data reports started in 1976, according to DEED.
The agency cites a jump in labor force participation, up to 68.3% from 68.1% month to month, as reason for the decline in unemployment.
On top of that, DEED reports the state gained 11,900 jobs last month, up 0.4% from March, which added 13,200. It's the seventh month in a row that Minnesota has seen job growth.
“Thanks to our workers and our smart, job-creating policies, Minnesota’s economy is growing like never before," Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said in a statement. "In the remaining days of the legislative session, we have an opportunity to power Minnesota’s economic growth even further by lowering costs for families, investing in our workers, and making smart, future-looking decisions to move Minnesota forward.”
However, job growth and economic recovery hasn't been consistent for all Minnesotans, DEED admits. Higher unemployment rates are still reported in Black and Hispanic communities, compared to white communities. For example, in April 2022, the unemployment rate among white people was 2.8%, while for Black people it was 6.7% and 4.5% for Hispanic people, according to DEED.
"DEED is laser-focused on helping connect those Minnesotans who are looking for work now with the employers who need them," Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement.
Job gains were up for the manufacturing, financial activities, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and government sectors, while losses were reported in mining and logging, construction, and trade, transportation and utilities.
Meanwhile, a group of Minnesota lawmakers is racing against the clock to determine how to use billions from the state surplus through the right mix of tax rate cuts, tax credits and instant rebates to produce a bipartisan bill.
The Tax Conference Committee, a panel made up five Republican and five Democratic lawmakers, needs to come up with one plan to deliver $4 billion in tax relief across the next three years before Sunday, May 22 at 11:59 p.m.
Gov. Walz previously proposed $500 checks for single tax filers and $1,000 checks for joint filers, known as "Walz Checks," but his plan didn't make it into either the House's tax bill or the Senate's version. Rep. Paul Marquart, co-chair of the Tax Conference Committee along with Sen. Carla Nelson, told KARE 11 that rebate checks are still on the table.
To read the full DEED unemployment numbers report, click here.
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