The unemployment rate ticked down three-tenths of a point to 2.2% in April from 2.5% in March, its lowest level ever recorded since such information started being reported back in 1976, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
The decline in the unemployment rate over-the-month was entirely due to people moving from unemployment to employment. The labor force participation rate rose from 68.1% to 68.3%. Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6% and the labor force participation rate ticked down 0.2% to 62.2%.
Minnesota gained 11,900 jobs, up 0.4% from March to April on a seasonally adjusted basis following the addition of 13,200 jobs the previous month. The private sector gained 10,600 jobs, up 0.4%. This continues a gaining streak for the seventh month. The U.S. gained 428,000 jobs, up 0.3% from March to April, with the private sector adding 406,000 jobs, also up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
“Our economy remains strong, job growth continues, and more people continue to return to work,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “However, racial disparities in employment remain. DEED is laser-focused on helping connect those Minnesotans who are looking for work now with the employers who need them.”
Employment recovery has not been consistent for all Minnesotans. Black and Hispanic Minnesotans continue to experience higher unemployment rates than white Minnesotans, as shown in the table below. Unemployment by race is based on 12-month moving averages to help even out inconsistencies due to small sample sizes.
Over the year, Minnesota gained 61,139 payroll jobs, up 2.2%. The private sector gained 61,008 jobs, up 2.5% over the year. U.S. employment grew 4.6% over the year with the private sector up 5.0%. While Minnesota’s over the year growth is slower compared to the U.S., three supersectors in Minnesota show strength over the year compared to the U.S.: Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, and Manufacturing.
Manufacturing posted 15,862 additional jobs (5.2%) over the year in Minnesota. All manufacturing sectors were up. Non-Durable Goods employment was up 6.4% (6,993 jobs) while their counterparts in Durable Goods were up 4.5% (8,869 jobs).
Leisure & Hospitality continues to post the highest over the year growth of all the supersectors in Minnesota, up 27,585 jobs (12.9%). Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation posted 7,848 more jobs over the year (22.8%). Other high-growth sectors are Accommodation (up 4,124 jobs, 22.7%) and Full-Service Restaurants (up 11,119 jobs, 16%).
Two supersectors posted negative annual growth in Minnesota; Construction was down 4,988 jobs (4.0%) and Mining & Logging was down 85 jobs (1.3%). Construction saw negative over the year growth in most sectors, including Residential Building Construction (down 1,035 jobs, 7.2%) and Specialty Trade Contractors (down 4,974 jobs, 6.3%). Heavy & Civil Engineering Construction posted positive growth of 6.8% (up 1,140 jobs).
Minnesota lost 417,600 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 329,500 jobs as of April 2022, or 79% of the jobs lost, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 322,700 jobs, or 83% of the jobs lost.
In Minnesota and across the nation, wages are not currently keeping up with the rate of inflation. Over the year average hourly earnings rose 70 cents, up 2.2%, in Minnesota. Over two years, average hourly earnings in the state increased 79 cents, or 2.4%. Nationally, private sector wages increased 5.8% over the year and 6.1% over two years. The CPI inflation index for all urban consumers rose 8.3% over the year in April and 12.8% over 2 years.
Starting with last month’s employment numbers release, data is being included for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) that border Minnesota. DEED has added this employment change data for MSAs that are located in other states but that also include Minnesota counties. We are adding this information because it’s helpful to track employment change in these important regions, even if they are headquartered in neighboring states. Because we don’t have early access to data from MSAs that are not primarily based within Minnesota, we use publicly available data from other states for the previous month.