Minnesota shows growth in employment numbers while pandemic continues

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Minnesota's unemployment rate is trending in the right direction. It was 7.7% in July, down from 8.6% in June. According to Interim Director of the state's Labor Market Information Office Oriane Casale, while the progress is good, it is slowing down some. 

"We are adding jobs back into the economy. We lost 360,000 jobs in April, so we have a long way to go. We did add back 32,500 jobs in July. That is a bit slower growth than in June when we added back 74,700 jobs. The growth continues but it's slowing a bit." 

Casale says that gains are coming back in the sectors that were hit hardest by COVID-19. Notable gains were in the hospitality, local government, and health care sectors.

"A lot of the clinics and dental offices and such that were closed for quite a while and that employment is starting to come back as those clinics start up again and the jobs come back."

Though overall numbers improved in July, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans actually increased, up to 15.3%.

Released today - our monthly @mndeed MN jobs report.Job gains continued, but at slower rate than last month.Unemployment rate ticked down under 8%, at 7.7.And starting now, we're sharing BIPOC unemployment rates monthly on 6th mo. rolling avg.Read more here⬇️ https://t.co/kCW20UBwKV

— Steve Grove (@grove) August 20, 2020

Casale also tells WCCO that job growth depends significantly on how people are behaving during the pandemic.  "Part of that is people's response to COVID.  I know the data of people going and visiting restaurants and sitting down in restaurants, those numbers are down.  Clearly it's because people are taking their own safety measures.  Until people's behavior changes in response to that we're going to have a bumpy road adding jobs in certain sectors."

Another concern is whether companies will continue to have employees work from home, or perhaps downsize.  Casale says she believes at some point, business will return to normal.