Thousands of Minnesotans Abandon Their Search for Work
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down significantly last month but state officials say the improvement was largely due to people giving up on their search for a job.
The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development put the state's jobless rate for September at 6-percent. That is down from 7.4-percent in August but it is still nearly twice as high as it was a year ago.
The jobs report says the decline in the unemployment rate from August was largely due to an estimated 56,000 people dropping out of the labor pool. That brought Minnesota's labor force participation rate down to 68.4-percent. That is the lowest the rate has been since the fall of 1978. Minnesota's highest labor force participation rate was 75.6-percent in early 2001. Even with the drop, Minnesota's rate is significantly above the national rate of 61.4-percent.
The latest jobs data indicates Minnesota's economy added almost 15,000 jobs in September but the total remains over 200,000 below the job count from September of last year. It is estimated that employment in the Rochester area is down by almost 7300 jobs from a year ago, or about 6-percent.