Skip to main content

Report: In MN, jobless rate for blacks is nearly 4 times higher than whites

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Minnesota has the third-highest unemployment gap between white and black people in the country – with the jobless rate among blacks almost four times higher than among whites.

The figures come from a new study by the Center for Popular Democracy, which shows that the unemployment rate in Minnesota among black resident is 3.7 times higher compared to white people.

This is second only to the District of Columbia (5.6 times) and Wisconsin (4.6 times).

The gap in Minnesota has lessened since 2007 however, when 3.85 times more black people were unemployed than white.

It also found that the jobless rate among Hispanic people is more than two times greater than for white people.

A rally will be held Thursday, WCCO reports, which will "draw attention to the racial differences between wages and jobs available" in the Twin Cities and Minnesota as a whole.

It is being organized by representatives of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), the Center for Popular Democracy and the Economy Policy Institute, and held at the NOC offices in W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis, starting at 3 p.m.

Unemployment falling, gap still wide

The significant disparity between black and white unemployment remains, even though overall unemployment has dropped in recent years thanks to the recovery of Minnesota's economy since the financial crisis.

The unemployment rate among black people across the state fell to 11.9 percent in 2014, compared to 15.4 per cent in 2007.

However, the rate among white people stood at just 3.2 percent in 2014, down from 4 percent in 2007. The report also found that the unemployment rate among Hispanics stood at 7 percent in 2014, almost the same as it was in 2007.

The unemployment gap is even worse in the metro area, with the graph above showing that the black unemployment rate is 3.89 times higher than white.

The report features a case study of 23-year-old Minneapolis resident Tyrone Raino, who told the Center for Popular Democracy the only full-time job he could find is 40 minutes outside the city, and he works there 40 hours a week while taking a further 20 hours of classes every week.

Disparity is nothing new

Minnesota regularly features among the worst states for racial unemployment gaps.

In 2013, Minnesota was second only to Wyoming according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Star Tribune reports, when the black unemployment rate was triple the white rate.

And in 2011, MPR reported on a study by the Economic Policy Institute, which found the Twin Cities along with Memphis had the biggest white-black unemployment gaps out of the nation's 50 biggest metropolitan areas.

When The Atlantic ran a piece last month lauding the metro area for its winning mix of affordability, opportunity and wealth, several publications responded by highlighting the gaps that suggest not everything is rosy in the Twin Cities.

It's not just with unemployment either. WalletHub found Minnesota has the second-worst wealth gap between white people and people of color in the United States, as well as one of the biggest gaps for home ownership levels.

Next Up


Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation


Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Election officials dismiss conservative group's complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The group alleged that she used campaign funds on her future husband's consulting firm.

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 9.53.04 AM

Reports: 6 names surface in Vikings' search for new head coach

Six names have surfaced Saturday in the Minnesota Vikings' hunt for a new head coach.


DEED: Minnesota jobless rate climbs to 5.9 percent in August

Employers in Minnesota cut 2,000 jobs last month, according to state labor officials with the Department of Employment and Economic Development. The Star Tribune reports, the state's unemployment rate went up one-tenth of a point from July to 5.9 percent. The national jobless figure was 8.1 percent in August.