State’s August jobs report shows pause in growth

ST. PAUL – Minnesota’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 1.9% in August, although it remains at a historic low, according to numbers released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Minnesota’s labor force participation rate ticked down two-tenths of a point to 68.2%. In August, the U.S. unemployment rate rose by two-tenths of a point to 3.7% and the labor force participation rate increased by three-tenths of a point to 62.4%.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, Minnesota lost 3,100 jobs in August, down 0.1% from July, following the addition of 17,100 jobs (revised) in July 2022. The private sector lost 5,900 jobs in August, down 0.2%, with Government adding 2,800 up 0.7%.

Minnesota’s July 2022 employment was revised downward by 2,000 jobs in total and 2,200 jobs in the private sector. The U.S. gained 315,000 jobs in August, up 0.2% from July, with the private sector adding 308,000 jobs, up 0.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Job growth has been less consistent than usual coming out of the pandemic recession, but the trend toward growth has remained strong. Over the past three months, both Minnesota and U.S. employment have grown .5%.

“We saw a pause in our job growth in August, amidst an otherwise record-setting year for Minnesota’s economy,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “Despite the fluctuations we’ve seen in the global economy, Minnesota’s resiliency remains strong. Our number one focus continues to be on connecting job seekers and businesses during a time of opportunity for Minnesota’s labor market.”

For the past several months, DEED has been engaged in outreach around the state through the Summer of Jobs campaign. Summer of Jobs showcases the thousands of jobs available throughout Minnesota, highlights labor pools that employers often overlook or lack a connection to – such as immigrant communities, young people, retirees returning to the workforce, people with disabilities or those recently released from correctional facilities – and draws attention to innovation and best practices to help increase opportunity and productivity in our workforce.

Looking at unemployment and labor force participation by race and ethnicity in Minnesota, the labor force participation rate ticked up to 80.4% for Hispanic workers, down to 66.8% for Black workers and remained level at 68.6% for white workers in August, based on 12-month moving averages.

While the labor force participation rate continued to rise for all groups of workers over the year, it has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels for white and Black workers in Minnesota. Unemployment rates also vary by racial and ethnic groups, based on 12-month moving averages, with Black Minnesotans seeing a significant drop in unemployment since July, but an increase since last August.

In Minnesota, average hourly wages for all private sector workers rose 24 cents to $34.62 in August over the month. Over the year average hourly earnings rose $1.90, up 5.8%. Over two years, average hourly earnings increased $2.93 or 9.2%.

Nationally private sector wages rose 4 cents (0.1%) over the month to $32.14, up 4.4% OTY and up 8.9% over two years. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in August, 8.3% over the year and 13.9% over two years.

U.S. employment grew 3.8% OTY, with the private sector up 4.4% in August. Nationally, all supersectors showed gains OTY.


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