Unemployment Reaches Historic Low; Business Survival Rate Tops in the Nation

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

In November, the Minnesota unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1 percent. 

The state lost 4,000 jobs in November. Over the past year, Minnesota gained 34,566 jobs, an increase of 1.2 percent, while U.S. jobs grew 1.4 percent. Read more.

Through two consecutive months of employment declines, Minnesota’s labor markets are surprisingly strong. We’re seeing a decline in our unemployment rate to levels last seen before the 2001 recession, as our labor force participation rate (70.6 percent) increases to six year highs – and with an aging population. The decline in the number of unemployed to below 100,000 suggests a continued tightening. How long can these recent job gains be sustained?

  • Leisure and hospitality lost 7,500 jobs over the month with most coming from Accommodation and Food Services (down 5,600) and Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (down 1,900).
  • Manufacturing lost 700 Durable Goods Manufacturing jobs over the month, but is now in its seventh month of over-the-year growth.
  • There were losses in Government and Government was down 600 and information was down 700.
  • The private sector average work week dropped from 34.4 hours in October to 34.1 in November; and the private sector average wage rate fell by 16 cents to $28.62 per hour. Over-the-year wage growth fell to 84 cents (3 percent) in November, the slowest rate of wage growth since March 2016. 

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Although the Twin Cities continues to outpace the smaller Metropolitan Statistical Areas, sizeable job gains continue in all MSAs, in the past 12 months:

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 2.1 percent)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (up 1.5 percent)
  • Rochester MSA (up 0.3 percent)
  • Cloud MSA (up 1.7 percent)
  • Mankato MSA (up 1.9 percent)

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