Pandemic Pushes MN Unemployment Above 8%
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to the highest point it has been since the summer of 1983.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development today reported the jobless rate jumped over five percentage points from March to 8.1-percent in April as hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans lost their jobs as the economy shut down in response to the pandemic. Prior to last month, Minnesota's unemployment rate had been trending downward for several months and was only 2.9-percent in March.
The jobs report for April shows the number of Minnesotans categorized as unemployed rose by 160,000 to just under a quarter-million people. At the same time, the economy shed almost 360,000 jobs with private-sector jobs accounting for almost 335,000 of that total. When compared to April of last year, Minnesota lost almost 388,000 jobs, which for a negative job growth rate of over 13-percent.
State officials note the employment numbers released today showed the first full month of the impact of the pandemic, which began affecting Minnesota and mid-March. Since then, the state has processed over 695,000 applications for jobless benefits.