Minnesota unemployment rate drops to 4.2% in March

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% last month, down from 4.4% in February, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said Thursday.

However, DEED said the decline wasn’t just from people gaining employment but also due to some leaving the labor force, primarily from unemployment. The state’s labor force participation rate dropped from 68% to 67.8%, which is where it was in April 2020. Before the pandemic began, that rate was at 70.2%.

The U.S. unemployment rate also fell 0.2% last month to 6% but labor force participation rose 0.1% to 61.5%.

Overall, DEED said Minnesota gained 21,600 jobs, up 0.8%, last month on a seasonally adjusted basis. That’s 19,900 more jobs than the state’s previous pandemic peak in October.

The U.S. gained 916,000 jobs in March, up 0.6%.

"It’s good to see Minnesota’s job growth reach its highest levels since the beginning of the pandemic, but we still have a long ways to go," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said. "There are over 100,000 job postings in the state, and we need to make sure more Minnesotans are aware of these opportunities to get back into the labor force. At DEED, we are continuing extensive outreach to unemployed Minnesotans to let them know about opportunities for in-demand jobs with local employers who are hiring now."

According to DEED, Minnesota has regained 225,200 jobs (54.1%) of the 416,300 that were lost since the pandemic started.