facebook app skip to content
Primary navigation


Minnesota Employment and Economic Development News

Find news from prior years in DEED's digital library.

Minnesota’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.4% in August

Job growth continues with 40,500 payroll jobs added

9/17/2020 11:26:09 AM

Contact: Rita Beatty

Oriane Casale

St. Paul – Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continues to move lower, falling to 7.4% in August, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Minnesota added a seasonally adjusted 40,500 payroll jobs in August, up 1.5% from July. The U.S. gained 1.371 million payroll jobs in August, up 1.0% from July. The national unemployment rate is at 8.4% for August.

"We are continuing to see steady job growth and a decline in unemployment in Minnesota, but it will take some time to replace jobs lost during the pandemic," said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. "While job growth in Minnesota was stronger in August than in July, growth continues to be uneven across industries and occupations. People in lower income occupations continue to be most impacted by job loss."

Minnesota unemployment has dropped steadily since reaching a high of 9.9% in May, which was the month with the highest pandemic-related unemployment. In June, Minnesota's unemployment rate was 8.6% and in July it was 7.6%.

Some groups of Minnesotans have been more affected by unemployment than others during the pandemic. Based on six month moving averages (March to August 2020 data), the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans is 16.3% in August, up nearly 11 percentage points from 5.4% one year ago, in August 2019. For Hispanic Minnesotans, unemployment was 9.7% in August, up from 3.9% in August 2019. White Minnesotans have an unemployment rate of 6.7% in August, up from 3% one year ago.

Over the month, seasonally adjusted gains in Minnesota were led by Government, up 11,000 jobs due to federal Census hiring and Local Government, followed by Leisure & Hospitality, up 7,800 jobs or 4.0% entirely in Accommodations & Food Services, Education & Health Services, up 7,100 jobs or 1.4% with gains in both component sectors, and Manufacturing, up 5,200 jobs or 1.7% with gains in both durable and nondurable goods.

One supersector, Financial Activities, lost jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in August from July, down 100 jobs or-0.1%.

Over the year in August, Minnesota shed 219,268 payroll jobs, down 7.3%, while the private sector shed 196,363 jobs, down 7.5%.  U.S. over the year job loss stood at 7.0% with the private sector down 7.5% in August.

Three supersectors in Minnesota showed strength compared to the nation: Trade, Transportation & Utilities (Retail Trade), Professional & Business Services (temp help) and Manufacturing (Food Manufacturing). Retail trade has made a full rebound in jobs to pre-pandemic levels, up 0.5% over the year. Food manufacturing jobs are also up 2.3% over the year.

The number of unemployed workers in Minnesota stood at 231,599 in August, down 4,948 from July and down 71,367 since May, when the number peaked at 302,966. The number of employed people rose 24,766 in August and 114,545 since its trough in May. Minnesota's labor force participation rate increased to 69.8% in August from 69.2% in July, closing in on 70.2% where it stood in February. The national labor force participation rate is 61.7% in August.

Employment fell in August over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Minnesota and U.S. Employment and Unemployment – August 2020

  Seasonally Adjusted Not Seasonally Adjusted
Unemployment Rate August 2020 July 2020 August 2020 August 2019
Minnesota 7.4% 7.6% 7.1% 3.0%
U.S. 8.4% 10.2% 8.5% 3.8%
Employment August 2020 July 2020 August '19- August '20 Level Change August '19- August '20 % Change
Minnesota 2,765,800 2,725,300 -219,268 -7.3
U.S. 140,914,000 139,543,000 -10,543,000 -7.0

Minnesota and U.S. Over the Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: August 2019 - August 2020

Industry Supersector OTY Job Change OTY Growth Rate (%) US OTY Growth Rate (%)
Total -219,268 -7.3 -7.0
Private -196,363 -7.5 -7.5
Logging & Mining -1,198 -17.2 -16.0
Construction -8,504 -5.9 -3.9
Manufacturing -15,406 -4.7 -5.6
Trade, Transport. & Utilities -13,028 -2.5 -4.5
Information -7,472 -15.7 -10.1
Financial Activities -7,688 -3.9 -1.4
Prof. & Business Services -15,135 -3.9 -6.0
Ed. & Health Services -34,359 -6.3 -4.9
Leisure & Hospitality -79,118 -26.6 -23.2
Other Services -14,455 -12.4 -8.5
Government -22,905 -5.7 -3.6

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Over the Year (OTY) Employment Change, Not Seasonally Adjusted: August 2019 – August 2020

Metropolitan Statistical Area OTY Employment Change OTY Employment Change (%)
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI MSA -152,256 -7.4
Duluth-Superior MN-WI MSA -11,112 -8.2
Rochester MSA -8,272 -6.6
St. Cloud MSA -3,443 -3.1
Mankato MSA -2,063 -3.6

Visit the DEED website to see DEED's alternative measures of unemployment. You can also find the monthly jobs numbers and unemployment data on DEED's website. You can see a list of the top 30 jobs in demand now in Minnesota on CareerForceMN.com.

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

Economic Development


unemployment insurance

back to top