ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped significantly in October, down to 4.6% from a revised 5.9% in September, according to the most recent numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

However, the department said in the statement, the drop was due to the second consecutive significant monthly drop in the state’s labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate declined to 67.4% in October from a revised 68.5% in September. Minnesota’s labor force participation rate was 70.2% in February 2020, prior to the pandemic’s effects.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 1.0 percentage point to 6.9% in October 2020 and the U.S. labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point to 61.7% in October.

“COVID has brought unprecedented challenges to Minnesotans and our businesses,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Despite these challenges, companies in many fields are hiring. DEED will continue to help job seekers in their career journey, and our CareerForce job counselors are available right now to help job seekers look for work.”

The number of unemployed workers in Minnesota fell to 137,359 in October, down 44,573 from September, according to the announcement, and down 165,607 since May, when the number peaked at 302,966. The number of employed people in Minnesota fell by 2,445 in October to 2,876,635, but was still up 109,657 since its low point in May.