Minnesota lost jobs in December after 14 months of growth

While Minnesota’s labor force grew slightly in the last month of 2022, the state lost jobs overall, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

historic building under renovation
Developer and co-owner Meghan Elliott gives a tour of the Leijona apartment complex under construction in Duluth on Oct. 13. Construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and government sectors lost jobs in Minnesota in December.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lost jobs and saw its unemployment rate rise slightly in December, ending a 14-month streak of growth, according to state numbers released Thursday, Jan 19.

While Minnesota’s labor force grew slightly in the last month of 2022, the state lost jobs overall, the most recent report from the Department of Employment and Economic Development said. The biggest decline was in the government sector, which lost 6,100 jobs mostly in local government.

Meanwhile, unemployment rate grew 0.2%-2.5% in December, but remains below the national rate of 3.5% and still is at a historic low, state officials said. In 2022, Minnesota saw its lowest unemployment rate since the state started tracking data in the 1970s: 1.8% in June and July.

Its next stop is the House floor.

“Minnesota’s job growth took a holiday break in December, but the private sector grew and indicators point to a strong underlying economy,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement on the jobs report.

Job gains were in trade, transportation and utilities, finance, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Sectors that lost jobs included construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and government.


At 67.9%, labor force participation was steady in December with 3,367 people entering the labor force. The national rate was 62.3%.

Minnesota has not completely recovered its workforce after the pandemic-fueled recession. In March 2020, Minnesota’s workforce participation was 70.2%. That dropped significantly as many workplaces shuttered to slow the spread of COVID-19, and has not returned to the same level since.

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Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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