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New data shows spike in unemployment rate, number of claims

Because part-time workers and those expecting a recall are not counted, the rate does not reflect the full impact on employment in Minnesota
Fifty-five percent of leisure and hospitality workers lost their jobs from mid-March to mid-April.

Fifty-five percent of leisure and hospitality workers lost their jobs from mid-March to mid-April.

Minnesota’s unemployment rate reached 8.1 percent last month, the highest figure since 1983.

That’s according to the state’s first survey conducted completely during the pandemic, using data from mid-March to mid-April, published Thursday.

The new data shows there were about 332,000 fewer Minnesota residents working in April than in March, with 160,000 of those newly unemployed. The overall workforce was 2.7 million in April, down from about 3 million for most of 2019.

The leisure and hospitality sector was hit hardest: 55 percent of workers lost their jobs. Next up are retail jobs, which decreased by 10 percent, and education and health service jobs, which fell by 9.3 percent. Manufacturing jobs are down by 6.7 percent, government jobs by 6.5 percent, professional service jobs by 5.3 percent and construction jobs by 3 percent.

Job losses have continued to increase since the survey was conducted.

The state definition of unemployment does not include people expecting to return to their employer or people who work part-time, including those whose hours have been cut because of the pandemic.

The number of unemployment claims as of Wednesday shows everyone who has reported losing work during the pandemic: 692,395 Minnesotans — more than 20 percent of the state's workforce —since March 16. 

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You're able to apply for unemployment if you're still employed by have experienced a reduction in hours, or have been temporarily furloughed.

More than 34,000 Asian Minnesotans have filed for unemployment, prompting concerns over Asian-American family-run businesses during a time when people of Asian heritage are targets of bigotry tied to Covid-19, Minnesota Public Radio reported

Black Minnesotans, women and young adults comprise the majority of unemployment claims, the Minnesota Reformer reported

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