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Minnesota's economy and COVID-19

August 2020 update

Empty bar stools at a closed business

Key findings

Continuing unemployment claims in Minnesota

  • In June 2020, Minnesotans filed 333,555 claims.
  • From April to June 2020, claims dropped by 17 percent.
  • Claims in June 2020 represent roughly 10 percent of all jobs in the state.

Continuing unemployment claims by industry

  • The professional services industry had the largest number of claims in June 2020.
  • The accommodations and food services and health care industries had higher claim numbers in June 2020.
  • Mining claims in June 2020 represented 30 percent of all industry jobs.

Continuing unemployment claims by region

  • When comparing June 2019 to June 2020, the Twin Cities saw 15 times as many claims in 2020 versus 2019.
  • Other regions with relatively higher rates of claims include southeast and central Minnesota.

About this report

In March 2020, Minnesota implemented stay-at-home measures in response to COVID-19. Minnesota residents were encouraged to stay home, and public-facing businesses, such as bars and restaurants, hair salons, gyms, and entertainment facilities faced limited activities. Since consumer spending drives nearly 70 percent of the economy, abrupt changes in consumer patterns clearly had economic consequences for the state.

Within a few weeks, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans had filed initial unemployment claims. For employees of businesses mandated to close, filing for unemployment assisted with individual household finances. However, as restrictions slowly lift and businesses reopen, some of these employees are returning to work. As this occurs, unemployment data should give a clearer picture of the long-term economic effects of COVID-19.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development recently released continuing unemployment claims for June 2020. Continuing claims represent claims that carry over from the previous month. This figure is valuable, as it shows how many people received benefits and remained on those benefits from the previous month. The number can also provide insight into industries and regions with lingering unemployment and/or those struggling to recover.

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Related research

Author(s)

Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2020

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