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Boreal Community Media

Cook County leads Minnesota in percentage of unemployment claims

Apr 20, 2020 06:49AM ● By Editor

From Boreal Community Media - April 20, 2020

According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development website, 28.5% of the Cook County Labor Force has filed unemployment claims.  As of April 16, a total of 879 unemployment claims have been filed in Cook County since data has been tracked starting in March 15 by the State of Minnesota to determine the impact of COVID-19 on employment.

Cook County leads the state in unemployment claims followed by Mahnomen County in northwest Minnesota with 27.2% of the county work force applying for unemployment benefits or 638 total claims.

As of April 16, a total of 496,735 unemployment claims have been filed in Minnesota since the COVID-19 tracking began in mid-March.  Members of Gov. Walz’s administration said in late March they expected the number of unemployment claims to grow into the “hundreds of thousands.”  The statistics confirm the forecast.

According to the Minnesota Employment and Economic Development website, Minnesota lost 15,400 private sector jobs in the first part of March, prior to significant impacts from COVID-19 on Minnesota employment numbers, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Over the year, Minnesota lost 10,144 payroll jobs, down 0.3% from March 2019 to March 2020.

“March employment numbers show only the leading edge of the unprecedented impact on Minnesota employment we’ve seen since March 16 due to steps taken to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “DEED is dedicated to helping the hundreds of thousands of workers affected by COVID-19 response since mid March.”

Because of the lag time between data collection and reporting, and because monthly employment data reflects payroll numbers through mid-month, MNE&ED does not expect to see a more complete picture of COVID-19 impacts on monthly Minnesota employment numbers until the April data release on May 21.

Follow the unemployment statistics from DEED here.

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