Created: April 23, 2021 05:26 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The unemployment rate in Minnesota fell from 4.4% in April to 4.2% in March, but experts said while the unemployment rate may be dropping, that does not necessarily mean more people are joining the workforce.
"The unemployment rate looks at the number of people actively searching for jobs. Fewer people are even in the job market searching for work, and so that changes the equation in a way that it might look like things are peachy, but sometimes its the fact people are leaving the labor market," Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said.
So, a low unemployment rate just means fewer people are actually looking for work.
"This is a more troubling concern because, of course, we want people to be looking for work in our state and ready to engage," Grove said.
But here in Rochester, a large chunk of the work force was unscathed after a year of Covid.
"Believe it or not in Rochester, there's actually more people in the labor force than there was a year ago," Grove said.
This is of course because healthcare - Rochester's greatest industry- is essential during a pandemic, but other vital industries in the area are still hurting.
"Rochester was hit during the pandemic and we did have increased unemployment particularly in industries like hotel, hospitality, and retail," Rochester Mayor Kim Norton said.
The issue statewide right now is there are more jobs available than there are people looking to fill them.
"One of the things we're beginning to hear now is that a lot of businesses are struggling to find workers," Grove said.
"If there aren't enough employees and things pick up, will retail and hotel be able to handle the business? Because they're not going to be able to fill all of their positions," Norton said.
So, if you've been out of work for a year, local and state leaders said now is the time to be looking for that new job.
"This is a really great time to get back into the workforce because not only will there be jobs coming up in hospitality and retail but also jobs in construction, whether it be roads and bridges or buildings downtown," Norton said.
To find resources for job seeking or special skills training for one of the many jobs available now, head to DEED's Careerforce website.
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