Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down to 4% in May, from 4.1% in April, according to numbers released on Thursday, June 17, by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The unemployment rate decline was due to more people securing jobs after being unemployed for months during the coronavirus pandemic.

DEED said the expanding labor force pushed Minnesota’s labor force participation rate up two-tenths of a percentage point to 67.9%, the first increase in three months.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. The U.S. labor force participation rate ticked down one-tenth point to 61.6%.

For the fifth straight month, Minnesota gained jobs. The state added 12,300 jobs in May, up 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis with the private sector up 14,800 jobs or 0.6%, according to DEED. Job growth was strongest in industries, such as leisure and hospitality, and parts of the state, like the Twin Cities and Twin Ports, hardest hit by job losses during the pandemic.

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The U.S. gained 559,000 jobs, up 0.4% over the month in May, with the private sector up 492,000 jobs or 0.4%.

According to DEED, Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since gained 249,700 jobs, or 60.0% of the jobs lost on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector has regained 62.2% of the jobs lost.

“Minnesota is moving in the right direction with steady job growth,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “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.”