Although Minnesota’s new March unemployment numbers, released this morning by the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development, are the highest since May 1983, the 8.2 percent seasonally adjusted rate marks the slowest rate of decline in jobs in the Gopher State in half a year.

Jobless claims rose from 8.0 percent in February to 8.2 percent in March’s preliminary numbers, an increase of 2.5 percent. This marks the lowest rate of increase since unemployment held flat in Minnesota from August to September 2008:

Minnesota Unemployment Rate of Increase

Month
Rate
% Monthly change
September 2008
5.4
0.0
October 2008
5.6
+3.7
November 2008
6.1
+8.9
December 2008
6.6
+8.2
January 2009
7.5
+13.6
February 2009
8.0
+6.7
March 2009
8.2
+2.5

Note: Table compiled by Smart Politics with data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

However, the 0.2-point rise in unemployment from February did trigger the setting of another grim record in the Gopher State – the largest 12-month increase in jobless claims, rising at a 60.8 percent clip from March 2008. The current economic crisis has led to three of the top five largest 12-month increases occurring during each of the past three months.

Largest Yearly Proportional Unemployment Increase in Minnesota, 1976-2009

Rank
Period
Percent increase
1
March 2008 – March 2009
60.8
2
February 2008 – February 2009
60.0
2
August 1981 – August 1982
60.0
4
July 1981 – July 1982
56.4
5
January 2008 – January 2009
56.3

Note: Table compiled by Smart Politics with data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Whether or not this decline in the rate of unemployment growth from February to March is a sign of a stabilization of Minnesota’s economy is not yet clear. Nationwide, March’s jobless claims rose at a rate double that expereinced in the Gopher State, from 8.1 to 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, South Dakota’s unemployment situation shows no sign of slowing down.

New March numbers will be released later this month in Iowa, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

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1 Comment

  1. Corsica's Desk on May 8, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Has the recession leveled off? Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in April (-539,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5 to 8.9 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, April 8, 2009. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost. In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Overall, private-sector employment fell by 611,000. The details of the report can be found here. http://pfx.me/l2