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Minnesota initial unemployment claims nearly doubled last week

(The Center Square) – Minnesota had the nation’s largest past-week increase in initial unemployment claims, WalletHub reported.

Nationally, WalletHub found that unemployment claims rose 12% week-over-week May 29 amid high inflation and the threat of a recession. The unemployment claims rise was the highest it’s been since October 2021.

The report said that Minnesota’s claims last week were 97.48% higher than those of the prior week, 89.48% more compared with the same week of 2019 and 101.85% more compared with the same week of 2022. With 180 claims per 100,000 people in the labor force, Minnesota ranked fifth among the states. Ohio, which had the second highest increase since last week, had the most claims per capita: 288.

Iowa had the 10th highest past-week rise and the 21st highest number of claims per capita (112), according to the report. The state experienced a 16.85% rise compared with the prior week. Since the same week of 2019, Iowa’s unemployment claims decreased 11.21%. Compared with the same week of 2022, last week’s claims were 25.10% higher.

Wisconsin had the 24th highest rise in unemployment claims last week, while Michigan had the 40th highest rise. Wisconsin had the 24th highest number of claims per capita (107), and the Mitten State, with 85 claims per capita, ranked 34th.

Blue states and red states performed roughly equally, the report found. The average rank for blue states was 25.42, and the average rank for red states was 26.60.

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Communications Project Manager Rita Beatty told The Center Square in an emailed statement Friday that the uptick in initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending June 3 is due to a change in Minnesota law that became effective May 28.
“This law changed the eligibility requirements for individuals working for educational institutions, making it much more likely that non-instructional educational staff will be eligible for UI during the summer,” she said. “We expect initial claims will be higher for the next several weeks due to this change in UI law.”

WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a statement that job loss can be disastrous during times of high inflation,

“Even Americans with jobs right now are struggling to afford essentials like food and gas,” she said. “If those numbers would climb while more people become unemployed, we might see an economy in deep recession.”

Jobs with very high unemployment numbers right now include construction work, Gonzalez said. Higher interest rates have lowered demand for new, individual housing. Farming, fishing, and forestry jobs are also seeing high unemployment, which is more closely tied with technological advances rather than the current economy or pandemic recovery.

Texas Southern University management professor Rochelle Parks-Yancy said in the report talent is in short supply and high demand for the roles of medical professionals, teachers, aviation professionals, plumbers, electricians, HVAC professionals, truck drivers and accountants. Other roles, like recruitment/selection and engineering, specifically in the tech sector, are in higher supply and lower demand compared with a few years ago.

She said people should prioritize saving and be prepared for a termination or layoff, without severance.

“Some large organizations overhire when times are good, which makes it not that hard to shed talent when they want to cut costs,” she said.

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