MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.7% last month, down from 8.6% in June, there’s still a long road ahead to economic recovery as many remain jobless amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday that the state added 32,500 payroll jobs last month. Jobs added were mostly in the leisure and hospitality, and food service sectors. Still, payroll jobs in Minnesota are down 8% compared to July 2019 — that’s more than 230,000 jobs.

“We’re moving in the right direction, but job growth is slowing, a sign that this recovery will likely take some time,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, in a statement.

Unemployment is affecting Minnesota communities disproportionately. The state’s Black community has been hit particularly hard. In July, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans was at 15.3%, compared to 6.3% for white Minnesotans.

Year-over-year, Black Minnesotans saw their unemployment rate more than double, jumping from 6.3% to 15.3%. Meanwhile, for Hispanic and white Minnesotans, unemployment rates both about doubled, climbing from 4.3% to 8.6% and 3.1% to 6.3%, respectively.

The overall U.S. unemployment rate was at 10.5% in July, down from 11.1% in June.

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