47,000 Minnesotans stopped looking for work in October, jobless rate falls to 4.6%

    Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in October, largely because people stopped looking for work. Photo by Getty Images.

    Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.6% in October, down from 5.9% the month before, largely because many people have stopped looking for work. 

    The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development on Thursday reported that Minnesota employers added 13,200 jobs last month, while 47,018 people stopped looking for work.

    Prior to the pandemic, Minnesota’s labor force participation rate was 70.2%, but it has declined to 67.4%, the result of an economic downturn.

    “COVID has brought unprecedented challenges to Minnesotans and our businesses,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “Despite these challenges, companies in many fields are hiring.”

    Employers in the trade, transportation and utilities sectors added 4,600 jobs last month, according to the report. Accommodation and food services added 3,800 jobs.

    Unemployment rates based on race, however, were still disproportionate. Black Minnesotans have a jobless rate of 15.4%, while Latino Minnesotans have an unemployment rate of 9.6%, according to a six-month moving average. White Minnesotans, in comparison, had a jobless rate of 6.3%.

    Gov. Tim Walz’s latest executive order closing indoor and outdoor dining, gyms and other places of public accommodation for four weeks threatens to put thousands more out of work as the state tries to curb the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19.

    Ricardo Lopez
    Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.