The number of initial Unemployment Insurance claims dropped sharply in February, from 23,332 in January to 17,795. Decreases of this magnitude are common in February, however, as most people who face seasonal winter layoffs filed their initial claims earlier in the season. As is generally the case this time of the year, the plurality of initial claims came in Construction (5,102), a highly seasonal industry. Claims were also down on an annual basis, with last month seeing 1,449 (7.5 percent) fewer claims than in February 2014. The only major industries to see an increase from last year were Construction (5,102 claims, a 7 percent increase), Transportation and Warehousing (558, 9.4 percent increase), Wholesale Trade (607, 0.8 percent increase), and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (220, a 0.5 percent increase). All but two of Minnesota’s eleven Economic Development Regions had fewer claims than last year, with the exceptions being the Arrowhead region (2.6 percent more initial claims) and the Northwest region, which had its second consecutive month of higher claims.
Seasonally Adjusted Data (Excel)