Greater Twin Ports unemployment rate jumps to 12.8%

Greater Twin Ports unemployment rate jumps to 12.8% Photo: WDIO/MGN

Updated: May 21, 2020 02:54 PM

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic caused the monthly jobless rate for the greater Twin Ports area to nearly triple in April, according to numbers released Thursday.


The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the unemployment rate for the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area was 12.8% in April, up from 4.5% in March. The numbers are not adjusted for normal seasonal variations.

DEED records show the rate is the highest in at least 30 years. There were 18,142 people listed as being unemployed in the MSA in April, up from 6,410 in March.

The Duluth-Superior MSA includes all of Carlton and St. Louis counties in Minnesota and Douglas County, Wisconsin. The Twin Ports' rate was higher than all other metro areas in Minnesota.

April unemployment rates for northeastern Minnesota counties were:

  • Aitkin County 11.3%
  • Beltrami County 9.1%
  • Carlton County 10.7%
  • Cass County 13.2%
  • Cook County 15.1%
  • Crow Wing County 10.9%
  • Itasca County 11.4%
  • Koochiching County 10.6%
  • Lake County 9.9%
  • Pine County 12%
  • St. Louis County 10.5%

April unemployment rates for northeastern Minnesota cities were:

  • Bemidji 9.6%
  • Brainerd 14.8%
  • Cloquet 12.3%
  • Duluth 10.9%
  • Grand Rapids 11.5%
  • Hibbing 10.1%
  • Virginia 10.6%

Statistics for individual Wisconsin cities and counties are not scheduled to be released until next week.  Wisconsin's statewide unemployment rate for April was 14.1% with seasonal adjustments and 14.6% without adjustments.

Minnesota's statewide unemployment rate for April was 8.1% when seasonally adjusted and 8.6% without adjustments.  Minnesota's rate is the highest since the 2009 recession.

Over the year, DEED says the only sector that didn't report a job loss was logging and mining, which actually had 101 more jobs in April than one year earlier.  The sector showing the largest loss was leisure and hospitality, accounting for more than one-third of the state's job losses.

"DEED is dedicated to helping Minnesotans who have lost their job or had their hours reduced over the past two months," DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a news release.

"We were one of the first states in the nation to fully implement all three elements of the CARES Act to quickly get benefits out the door to as many people as possible. While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our state in many ways, we continue to work closely with our state agency partners and health, business and labor leaders to reopen Minnesota businesses, safely return more people to work, and stem the tide of COVID-19 on our economy," Grove said.

Michigan's April adjusted unemployment rate, released Wednesday, was 22.7%.

The national rate, released earlier this month, was 14.4% without adjustments and 14.7% when seasonally adjusted.

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