As layoffs in Minnesota rise, some industries continue to add staff during the pandemic

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More than 450,000 Minnesotans have now filed for unemployment during the pandemic.

That’s about 14% of the state’s labor force.

While a number of companies are laying off employees, some industries actually need more workers.

Places like Frattallone’s Ace Hardware on Grand Avenue in St. Paul are adding staff.

The store plans to hire two full-time and 20 part-time workers.

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"I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls that say ‘I’ve recently been laid off, I’ve been in the hospitality industry, bars, restaurants,’" store manager Kent Eernise said. "Today I got four new hires starting. I have two interviews scheduled."

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says industries like healthcare, retail and construction continue to hire during the crisis.

"In this situation, you may have to take a short term job," Mike Lang with DEED said. "You are not identified by your situation. You are identified by what you bring to a potential employer, so always remember that your skills, your experience, your background define you, not this temporary period of unemployment."

The state says some companies may not be able to hire as many workers as they like because social distancing won’t allow them to train everyone at the same time.