Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that Minnesota lost a total of 5,700 jobs in March and the state’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8%.
All job losses were in the private sector, 6,100 jobs, but this was offset by the addition of 400 new government jobs. DEED said the unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a percentage point from February.
Nationally, total nonfarm employment increased by 236,000 jobs, up 0.2% from February to March, with the US private sector adding 189,000. The comparable US unemployment rate was 3.5%.
In Minnesota, the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 68%, which compares to 62.6% nationwide. This measures the portion of the total working-age population that is employed full-time or actively looking for work, and is used to calculate the headline unemployment rate.
“The decline in the unemployment rate is great news for Minnesota,” DEED Interim Commissioner Kevin McKinnon said in a press release. “While the decline in the number of jobs and the lack of change in the labor force participation rate may seem like a bit of a disconnect, the trends in the data will smooth out over time.”
Over the year, Minnesota had 64,139 payroll jobs, up 2.2%; The private sector created 55,386 jobs, up 2.3%. Average hourly wages for all private workers in the state fell 15 cents to $35.16 in March; But it jumped $1.52 — 4.5 percent — year over year, and since March 2024 it’s up 11.4 percent, DEED said.
By race and ethnicity, the unemployment rate in March was highest among Hispanics at 4.3%, and lowest among whites, at 2.4%; Blacks were included at 2.5%.
Among the state’s surrogate measures of unemployment, the broadest measure, the U-6 recall, was 4.9%; This includes people who are not employed but actively seek employment with people who work marginally, work part-time involuntarily, and those who have left the labor force voluntarily and are not looking for jobs.