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
Publish date:
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. 

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

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

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.


Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 11.27.08 AM

New data predicts Depression-era level of food need in Minnesota

The state's largest foodbank says McKinsey & Co. projects need for food to peak in September


'Imposter' unemployment claims on the rise in Minnesota

Fraudsters have been stealing personal information to file for unemployment as someone else.


Unemployment rate hit record 9.9 percent in Minnesota in May

The rate is now expected to improve with more businesses allowed to reopen.

50,000 Minnesotans have already applied for unemployment

That number will undoubtedly rise as the week progresses.


Popular Minneapolis tattoo shop closing 'until further notice'

The tattoo and piercing shop has been in business for 28 years.

Minnesota's unemployment rate hits lowest level in 19 years

But there's also been a drop in the number of available jobs in the state.

Minn. employers add 5,900 jobs, unemployment rate ticks down to 5.8%

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state's jobless rate fell a tenth of a percent to 5.8 percent last month after employers add 5,900 jobs, the Star Tribune reports. Education and health services led all sectors in September with 5,600 new positions. The government, manufacturing and information sectors shed the most jobs last month.