Minnesota Jobs, Hourly Wages Grow During May

(KNSI) – Minnesota’s employment outlook continues to improve as the pandemic recedes, but the latest jobs report from the Department of Employment and Economic Development shows the state hasn’t yet regained all of the jobs lost in spring 2020.

In May, the state gained 14,800 private sector jobs, marking the fifth month in a row that the state has added positions. But Minnesota has only replaced 249,700 of the 416,300 jobs lost between February and April 2020 — about 60 percent.

The hospitality and leisure sector saw some of the biggest job gains in May, adding 6,000 positions. Though several sectors contributed to the jobs gain, three sectors saw decreases: government, information and trade, transportation and utilities.

Hourly wages and time spent working increased last month as well: since May 2020, the average wage for workers in the private sector increased by 73 cents. Thirteen cents of that increase occurred just between April and May 2021.

“At 35.2 hours per week, May’s average work week was six-tenths of an hour longer than in April and one and a tenth hours, or 3.2 percent, longer than a year ago,” reads the department’s latest report.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate improved slightly over April’s rate and is now at 4.0 percent.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement that the state is heading in the right direction with job growth.

“At DEED, we are continuing to proactively work with Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits, not only to remind them of their work search requirement, but to help them connect with employers who are hiring now,” Grove said.

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