Latest MN employment numbers show 5th straight month of labor force growth

ST. PAUL, MN
ST. PAUL, MN(Quinn Gorham)
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 4:22 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (GRAY) – Officials with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) put an overwhelmingly positive spin on July’s monthly employment numbers, despite a 0.1% increase in unemployment.

According to DEED, Minnesota totaled around 3,900 new entries into the labor force in July, putting its labor force participation rate at 68.5%. That’s almost 6 points above the national average (62.6%)

“Ongoing growth in our state’s labor force is a positive sign as many Minnesota employers continue looking for the workers they need,” said Commissioner Matt Varilek.

New faces entering the workforce is good for employers, but it also has a tendency to saturate the market, according to DEED. The state’s unemployment rate ticked up marginally since all of the new people in the labor market are now looking for jobs.

“The increase in the state’s unemployment rate this month is due in large part to new people joining the labor force and starting to look for work,” said Angelina Nguyen, DEED’s Labor Market Information Office Director.

Nguyen continued, saying they’ll keep an eye on those metrics.

“We are keeping a close eye on job growth, as industries continue to adjust hiring levels following strong job growth during the initial years of pandemic employment recovery,” she said.

The department also claims that hourly wages are up as much as 5% over the last year. July alone saw an $0.83 cent increase in average hourly wages across the state.