Minnesota saw its labor force grow again in May as 8,700 workers entered the job market – the largest over-the-month labor force gain since June 2020 and the third straight month with a labor force increase.
Employers added 7,700 new jobs in May and Minnesota’s labor force participation rate rose 0.1% percentage point to 68.2%. With more Minnesotans in the workforce, the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage point to 2.9%.
Minnesota’s labor force also grew in April, by almost 3,600 people. The three-month worker gain of 13,019 is the largest since January to March of 2022. But the labor force is still about 32,200 workers smaller than it was in February of 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A growing labor force is the latest sign of strength for Minnesota’s economy,” said temporary DEED Commissioner Kevin McKinnon. “Employers constantly tell us that they need more workers to fill their open roles. Now, we’ve seen back-to-back months during which more workers are pursuing jobs around the state. This is great news for Minnesota workers and employers, and we will work hard to make sure this trend continues.”
Job growth in May was fueled by strong gains in the Business & Professional Services and Leisure & Hospitality supersectors, which added 2,900 jobs and 2,300 jobs respectively.
Average hourly wages decreased over the month in May, but they have increased by 2% annually – above the rate of inflation in the Twin Cities metro area (1.8% in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Other notable details from today’s jobs report include:
- Other supersectors adding jobs in May include Educational & Health Services (up 1,900 jobs), Governments (1,400 jobs) and Construction (1,000 jobs). Manufacturing jobs were flat in May.
- Four supersectors lost jobs in May, including Trade, Transportation & Utilities (down 1,100 jobs), Information (400 jobs), Mining and Logging (200 jobs), and Financial Activities (200 jobs).
- Nine out of 11 supersectors posted job growth year-over-year, with only Mining & Logging (down 92 jobs) and
- Financial Activities (down 2,288 positions) losing jobs.
- Every Metropolitan Statistical Area in Minnesota has gained jobs year-over-year, led by Mankato (employment up 2,700 jobs, or 4.9%) and Rochester (2,800, 2.3%)
Minnesota’s job market continues to outpace the United States as whole, which logged a 3.7% unemployment rate and a 62.6% labor force participation rate in May.
During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers created — and the governor signed into law — three new workforce development programs designed to expand job training and help more Minnesotans join the labor force:
- Targeted Populations Workforce Grants to bring workers who are often overlooked, particularly Black, Indigenous and people of color, into the workforce at family-sustaining wages;
- The Drive for Five Fund to create a pipeline of workers who are skilled and prepared to pursue Minnesota’s most high-wage, in-demand jobs; and
- The Clean Energy Equitable Workforce program to prepare Black, Indigenous, and people of color for high-demand fields in clean energy.
Additional items coming out of the session include a permanent Office of New Americans to connect immigrants and refugees to jobs and doubled funding for DEED’s youth workforce training programs. The Legislature and governor made significant investments in programs that support Minnesotans with disabilities, including increasing funding for State Services for the Blind and Individual Placement Services and establishing a new Reasonable Accommodation Fund, which will help employers make reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities.
Visit the DEED website to see monthly jobs numbers and unemployment data. You can also Find DEED’s alternative measures of unemployment online. In addition, see related articles about job growth and labor market changes in the latest issue of Minnesota Employment Trends. Access resources to help Minnesotans prepare for and find employment now at CareerForceMN.com/GoodJobsNow.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and its services, visit the DEED website, the JoinUsMn.com website, or follow us on Twitter.
Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.