Employment rate drops slightly as Minnesotans leave workforce, COVID restrictions lead to job losses – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State officials say Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month as more Minnesotans left the labor force and the state cut nearly 50,000 jobs during the lockdown. a week of enhanced restrictions against COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reported Thursday that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for December fell to 4.4%, down a tenth of a percentage point from November. The drop reflects Governor Tim Walz’s tightened COVID-19 restrictions from late November through the holidays, when bars and restaurants were closed to indoor dining and social gatherings were limited. These restrictions have since been lifted.

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“Today’s employment data confirms what we expected – the spike in cases in late fall has had an impact on the economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, in a statement. “The foreseeable job loss that has come with the sacrifice companies and workers have had to make may prove to be temporary, as only 10% of those surveyed said their job loss was permanent.”

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Minnesota cut 49,800 salaried jobs in December, including 41,000 in the hospitality and recreation sector. December was the second consecutive month of job losses, erasing the gains made from August to October.

The state’s labor force participation rate, which measures the economy’s active workforce, fell 0.4% last month to 67.5%.

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Nationally, the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7% last month. The US participation rate also remained stable at 61.5%.