Unemployment rate down in MN, labor force participation rate remains the same

Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs in March -- 6,100 in the private sector. Also, wage growth is catching up to the inflation rate.


ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s unemployment rate inched down two-tenths of a percent to 2.8% in March from February, and the labor force participation rate stayed the same over-the-month at 68%, according to new data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Nationally, the U.S. unemployment rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5% and the labor force participation rate ticked up one-tenth of a percent to 62.6%.

Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs, down 0.2%, from February to March on a seasonally adjusted basis. The private sector lost 6,100 jobs, down 0.2%. Government jobs grew by 400 in Minnesota over the month, offsetting some of the losses in the private sector. The U.S. total nonfarm employment increased by 236,000 jobs, up 0.2% from February to March. The U.S. private sector gained 189,000 jobs, up 0.1%.

"A decline in the unemployment rate is good news for Minnesota," said DEED Temporary Commissioner Kevin McKinnon. “While a decline in the number of jobs and no change in the labor force participation rate may seem like a bit of a disconnect, the data trends will even out over time.”

Over the month, five "supersectors" in Minnesota lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis:

  • Construction lost 1,900 jobs, or 1.4%
  • Manufacturing lost 1,300 jobs, 0.4%
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities lost 2,300 jobs, 0.4%
  • Professional & Business Services lost 1,200 jobs, 0.3%
  • Other Services lost 700 jobs, 0.7%

Three supersectors did not change over-the-month:


  • Mining and Logging
  • Information
  • Financial Activities

Three supersectors saw positive growth over the month:

  • Educational and Health Services gained 600 jobs, 0.1%
  • Leisure and Hospitality gained 700 jobs, 0.3%
  • Government gained 400 jobs, 0.1%

Over the year, Minnesota gained 64,139 payroll jobs, up 2.2%, over the year. The private sector gained 55,386 jobs, up 2.3% over the year. All supersectors posted positive annual growth except Mining & Logging, which lost 102 jobs, or -1.6%. Following are noteworthy changes over the year:

  • Leisure & Hospitality gained 19,392 jobs, up 8.2%
  • Information gained 1,458 jobs, or 3.3%
  • Education & Health Services gained 14,639 jobs, up 2.7%
  • Construction gained 1,621 jobs, or 1.4%

U.S. employment grew 2.7% over the year, with the private sector up 2.8%. All supersectors showed gains over the year at a stronger rate than Minnesota except three: Trade, Transportation, & Utilities; Information; and Leisure & Hospitality.
In Minnesota, average hourly wages for all private sector workers fell 15 cents to $35.16 in March over the month. Over the year, average hourly earnings jumped $1.52 – up 4.5% – and since March 2020 they are up 11.4%. Nationally, private sector wages fell 3 cents over the month but increased 4.2% over the year and 14.6% over three years. The Consumer Price Index, a common measure of inflation, rose 5% over the year in March. and 16.9% over three years.

Detroit Lakes Tribune newsroom
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