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St Paul (KROC AM News) -  Minnesota employment officials are reporting average wages and weekly hours have gone up significantly over the past two years as a result of the tight labor market.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Thursday reported the average hourly wage for all private-sector workers rose $1.00, or 3.2%, over the year and $2.42, or 8.0%, since August 2019.

DEED says another sign of Minnesota’s tight labor market is the drop in teen unemployment. It fell to 6.2% in August, down nearly 5 percentage points from a year ago. This is the second-lowest August teen unemployment rate on record, dating back to 2002. The lowest rate of 5.7-percent was set in 2018.

DEED also reported Minnesota lost 416,300 jobs from February through April 2020 and has since regained 272,700 or 65.5% of those positions. The private sector has regained 67.0% of the jobs lost.

Over the past year, Minnesota has gained nearly 110,000 payroll jobs.

Employment rose over the year in all Minnesota Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Growth was strongest in the Duluth-Superior and Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Minnesota DEED

DEED adds:

Many Minnesotans continue to be out of work, but the employment impact of the pandemic on workers has been difficult to measure. The pandemic caused some people to drop out of the workforce, lowering labor force participation, which resulted in an unemployment rate below what would be expected given job losses.

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