Unemployment Drops, Labor Forces Shrink in Minnesota’s Metropolitan Areas

By Bobak Ha'Eri (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Duluth saw the ninth best change in unemployment rate from April to May of any metropolitan area in the country, as each of Minnesota’s metro areas saw at least a small dip in unemployment.

According to new data released by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, Duluth’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 percent in April to 5.1 percent in May.  It was one of only 14 metro areas to see a full percent or better change in the unemployment rate. However, of those cities, only Duluth; El Centro, California; and Yuba City, California saw their labor force shrink as well. The Duluth Metropolitan area lost 641 people, and its number of people listed as unemployed shrunk by over 1,600.

St. Cloud and Rochester’s unemployment rates both dropped 0.4 percent from April to May, hitting 3.3 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. Meanwhile the Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington metro area dropped 0.3 percent to settle at 3.1. Mankato-North Mankato was the only Minnesota metro area to finish outside of the top third of metro areas nationwide, seeing its unemployment rate drop 0.2 percent to 2.7.

All of Minnesota’s metropolitan areas saw their labor force shrink in the past month, with Mankato-North Mankato losing 1.3% of its civilian labor force.  It was the 15th worst loss in the country.

Nationwide, 146 metropolitan areas’ labor forces shrunk, while 269 saw increases. In Minnesota metropolitan areas, that ration was four out of five, as Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington added 3,561 people to its work force, or 0.2 percent. This was still in the bottom half of all metro areas included in BLS’ report.

In comparison, in Wisconsin all 12 metropolitan areas saw their unemployment rates fall from April to May, all of them by 0.5 percent or more. Only Racine saw their labor force shrink, and only three Wisconsin metro areas had final unemployment percentages significantly worse than Minnesota’s metro areas.

Anders Koskinen