The unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a point to 1.8% in June 2022 – yet another record low since the metric has been tracked in 1976, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The lowest pre-pandemic unemployment rate was 2.5% in early 1999.
The unemployment rate decline over-the-month was entirely due to people moving from unemployment to employment. The labor force participation rate ticked up another tenth of a point to 68.5%.
Nationally, the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6% (4th straight month) and the employment-to-population ratio dropped two-tenths of a point to 59.9% over the month.
On a seasonally adjusted basis Minnesota’s job growth was flat in June. Overall, the state gained 100 jobs in June, following the addition of 7,500 jobs (revised upward by 900 jobs) in May 2022. The private sector lost 400 jobs in June on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Over the year, Minnesota has added 91,421 payroll jobs, up 3.2%.
Since January 2022, Minnesota has seen job growth of 1.6%, faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.5%. The U.S. gained 372,000 jobs in June, up 0.2% from May, with the private sector up 381,000 jobs, also up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
“Another month has brought another record-low unemployment rate, as more Minnesotans are finding opportunity in our economy,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The big challenge is a historically tight labor market – we’re still down just over 72,000 people in our labor force since before the pandemic. We’re continuing to grow DEED’s Summer of Jobs campaign to highlight job market opportunities, and to help employers find workers in labor pools they may have previously overlooked.”
The Summer of Jobs campaign was in Duluth last week, where Commissioner Grove met with leaders and staff of Essentia Health to address the critical need for health care workers in Minnesota. He then job shadowed an Essentia Sterile Processing Technician, which is a critical and high-demand role across the health care industry. Finally, he led a roundtable focused on ways employers can connect with untapped talent within Minnesota’s aging workforce. The campaign’s next stop will be in Owatonna.
The employment recovery has not been consistent for all Minnesotans. Black and Hispanic Minnesotans have higher labor force participation rates, at 68.9% and 79.7% respectively in June 2022, than white Minnesotans, at 68.4% in June. The labor force participation rate for white Minnesotans has fallen consistently over the pandemic period, largely due to an aging workforce.
June data also show that Black and Hispanic Minnesotans have higher unemployment rates – at 7.4% and 3.1% respectively – compared to white workers, at 2.4%. This indicates that employers must continue to employ new strategies to find available workers from communities of color in Minnesota.
In June, on a seasonally adjusted basis, Minnesota added jobs in: Other Services, up 1,700 jobs; Government, Educational & Health Services, and Information, each up 500 jobs; Leisure & Hospitality, up 400 jobs and Logging & Mining, up 100 jobs. Losses were in Professional & Business Services, down 1,700 jobs; Trade, Transportation & Warehousing, down 1,300 jobs; and Manufacturing and Construction, each down 300 jobs. Financial Activities employment was flat.
Over the year (OTY), Minnesota gained 91,421 payroll jobs, up 3.2%. The private sector gained 91,766 jobs, up 3.7% over the year.
On an annual basis, nine of 11 supersectors posted positive over-the-year (OTY) employment growth, with Construction flat. Mining & Logging, Manufacturing, Trade, Transportation & Utilities, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality and Other Services all posted OTY growth. Among the supersectors:
•Professional & Business Services grew 4.5% (16,883 jobs). Manufacturing posted 17,266 additional jobs (5.5%). Non-Durable Goods employment grew 6.2% (6,996 jobs) while Durable Goods grew 5.1% (10,270 jobs).
•Leisure & Hospitality continued to post the highest growth of all the supersectors, up 11.8% with the addition of 28,530 jobs. Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation posted 23.0% growth (9,680 jobs). Accommodation and Food Services grew 9.5% (18,850 jobs). Government posted a 0.1% decrease, down 345 jobs. Local Government was responsible for all the gains, up 0.7% or 2,075 jobs in the non-education portion of the industry.
U.S. employment grew 4.2% OTY with the private sector up 4.8% in June. All supersectors showed gains OTY. Three supersectors in Minnesota show strength OTY compared to the U.S.: Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, and Manufacturing.
In Minnesota and across the nation, wages are not currently keeping up with the rate of inflation. Average hourly wages for all private sector workers, at $34.21 in June, rose 5.2% over the year and 9.6% over two years. Nationally private sector wages at $31.82 rose 5.1% over the year and 9.3% over two years. The CPI inflation index for all urban consumers rose 9.0% OTY in June 2022 and 14.8% over two years.
Visit the DEED website to see DEED’s alternative measures of unemployment. You can also find monthly jobs numbers and unemployment data on DEED’s website. In addition, see related articles about job growth and labor market changes in the latest issue of Minnesota Employment Trends. Learn more about the Summer of Jobscampaign. Access resources to help Minnesotans prepare for and find employment now at CareerForceMN.com/GoodJobsNow.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.