State Unemployment Hits 8.1 Percent in February

Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 9:49 am

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota unemployment rate reached a seasonally adjusted 8.1 percent in February, matching the U.S. rate for the month, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

State employers eliminated 13,300 jobs in February, while U.S. employers cut 651,000 jobs. Both Minnesota and the country are shedding jobs at about the same rate, with Minnesota losing 3.2 percent of its jobs in the past year and the U.S. losing 3.1 percent of its jobs.

“The global recession has touched nearly all business sectors, here and elsewhere in the country,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “But we saw some signs of improvement in Minnesota in February, including a slowdown in the number of jobs lost and a slightly better labor force participation rate.”

January surpassed February in jobs lost, with 18,500 positions eliminated statewide, while the labor force participation rate in February was 72.6 percent, up from 72.4 percent in January. The overall U.S. labor force participation rate in February was 65.6 percent.

The state’s strongest-performing sector last month was education and health care services, which added 2,100 jobs. Government grew by about 200 positions, while logging and mining, and other services held steady.

Education and health care services added 2,100 jobs in Minnesota during the month, while government grew by about 200 positions. Logging and mining, and other services held steady.

Job losses were posted by manufacturing (down 5,100), professional and business services (down 4,200), trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,700), construction (down 1,400), leisure and hospitality (down 900), information (down 700) and financial activities (down 600).

Education and health services added jobs in the past year, gaining 15,600 positions.

Job losses year-over-year occurred in professional and business services (down 27,600), manufacturing (down 25,700), construction (down 19,000), trade, transportation and utilities (down 15,500), leisure and hospitality (down 9,300), other services (down 2,800), government (down 700), information (down 500), logging and mining (down 200), and financial activities (down 100).

In the state’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job losses occurred in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA  (down 3.4 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (down 2.3 percent), Rochester MSA (down 0.2 percent) and St. Cloud MSA (down 1.2 percent). Data for the Fargo-Moorhead MSA and the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MSA will be available when the information is released in North Dakota .

For additional information on the February employment information, please visit

Comment on this Story

Join the conversation! All fields are required, but your email address will never be published or shared. Your comment will be held for moderation before posting.