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Improved Prospects for Some Due to Tight Labor Market

3/29/2018 12:00:00 PM

Minnesota’s unemployment rate for February fell 0.1 percent to 3.2 percent – a rate not seen in Minnesota since 2000.

Employers let 1,300 jobs go, but that number was more than offset by a revision in January’s figures from 2,500 jobs gained to 4,900 jobs gained.

Minnesota’s tight labor market has led to improved job opportunities for some groups that have struggled to find work. Unofficial estimates reveal continued improvement in the unemployment situation for black Minnesotans: The 12-month moving average rate fell from an historic low of 7.4 percent in January to 6.9 percent in February.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics fell from 4 percent to 3.3 percent over the month.

Clearly, Minnesota’s slowing job growth rates are a result of a constrained supply of workers, not economic weakness. Watch employers recruit workers more assertively and more creatively.


  • Leisure and hospitality led all sectors with 3,400 new jobs. The February job gain was one of the largest over-the-month job gains leisure and hospitality has experienced in recent years, in terms of numbers and percentage growth.
  • Manufacturing picked up 700 jobs, the largest over-the-month gain since January 2017. All job gains were in durable goods manufacturing; there were no gains from non-durable manufacturing.
  • Education and health services added 500 jobs, all coming from health care and social assistance.

Read the numbers.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Mankato’s growth rate was particularly impressive, however, all regions gained jobs in the past 12 months:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 0.8 percent)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.3 percent)
  • Rochester MSA (up 0.1 percent)
  • St. Cloud MSA (up 0.8 percent)
  • Mankato MSA (up 2.9 percent)

January Statistical Snapshot

Here are highlights from the January statistical snapshot:

  • 1-year growth in employment was 7 percent, ranking 35th nationwide. (US rate, 1.5 percent.)
  • Minnesota’s job creation since January, 2011 was 286,500 or a 8 percent increase. (US rate, 13.0 percent.)
  • Minnesota’s labor force participation rate was 70.1 percent, ranking second highest nationwide. (US rate, 62.7 percent.)
  • Minnesota’s long-term unemployment rate (>27 weeks) was 12.5 percent, compared to 21.5 percent nationwide.
  • Minnesota’s total non-farm employment was 2,946,200 (seasonally adjusted), ranking 18th

Hiring Former Offenders

DEED is focused on connecting diverse groups to employment and training opportunities to ensure their success. Sometimes employers are reluctant to hire workers they see as risky. Those workers tend to present some current or past concern that gives an employer cause to question their credibility or honesty.

Fidelity Bonding offers some assurance to employers who want to take the risk out of hiring. It is no-cost employee insurance that protects employers against employee theft of money or property.

The Minnesota Federal Bonding Service provides individual Fidelity Bonds to employers for new or current employees who may be denied coverage by commercial carriers.

Employers apply for these bonds. Nationally, more than 40,000 bonds have been issued. Only about 1 percent of those bonds have had claims filed against them.

To obtain a bond in Minnesota, contact the Minnesota Federal Bonding Coordinator at 651-259-7521 or 888-234-5521.



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