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Minnesota's economy and COVID-19

Temporarily closed due to COVID-19 building sign
A business temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Key findings

Job industry impact: Comparing job postings in Minnesota from EMSI (a labor market analytics company) from March 31, 2019 to March 31, 2020, showed the following:

  • For for all employers in Minnesota
    • Highest percent decline in job postings: 
      • Civic and professional organizations
      • Support activities for transportation
      • Furniture and related manufacturing
    • Highest percent increase in job postings: 
      • Other information services (includes all things internet — booksellers, web search portals, and news publishers)
      • Mining
      • Utilities
  • For large employers in Minnesota (more than 50,000 employees):
    • Most job industries had a decline in job postings

Job posting data can reflect both short-term and long-term changes in an industry.

County-level impact: Based on the share of total employment for each Minnesota county in five industries likely to be hit the hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak (leisure and hospitality, travel arrangements, employment services, transportation, and mining), counties most at risk:

  • Mining and tourism dependent regions of northeast Minnesota
  • Five of the seven counties in the Twin Cities metro area — Hennepin, Washington, Anoka, Scott and Dakota 

About this report

You may have seen the headline — 6.6 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims during the week ending March 28, 2020. This is the highest number of claims in the history of the series. Minnesota was not immune to this trend. During the weeks ending March 21 and 28, Minnesota recorded 225,669 claims.

These statistics, combined with the governor’s stay at home order, leave many community leaders, economic developers, and chambers of commerce scrambling to respond. Currently, much of the response is focused on helping business owners access and navigate multiple state and national programs designed to help small businesses. Moving forward, understanding which industries and areas of Minnesota are most vulnerable to job losses will help focus resources on the state’s most critical issues.

This summary is meant to highlight the parts of Minnesota’s economy currently most at risk. The hope is this information will give some guidance to those responding to Minnesota’s present economic issues and how local economies will be affected. As the situation changes rapidly, however, further updates may be necessary.

Read full report (PDF)


Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2020

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