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DEED: Minnesota unemployment down, but thousands also left the workforce


ST. PAUL, MN-- Minnesota's economy is making a slow recovery as the pandemic continues.

Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove discussed the latest unemployment numbers Thursday.

He said unemployment in the state dropped from 5.9% in September to 4.6% in October.

That means about 137,000 people are still out of work, down from a peak of about 303,000 in May.

Grove said the decrease in unemployment isn't because people found jobs, however, but because they dropped out of the workforce altogether.

"We as a state remain a state that has a higher labor force participation rate than almost any state in the country, but obviously that drop is something that is concerning to us and does beg some questions about who is leaving the workforce and why," said Grove.

He said concern about catching coronavirus and the need to care for children as reasons someone might stop looking for work.

Grove also addressed the new restrictions going into effect Friday night.

He said the next four weeks will be challenging and he does expect to see more people filing for unemployment.

However, Grove said they're hopeful it'll get the virus under control and lead to longer-term economic recovery.

Bonney Bowman

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