By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell again last month, down to 7.4% from a high of nearly 10% at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) says Minnesota gained 40,500 jobs in August. About a quarter of those jobs were in government due to hiring for the U.S. Census. Other job gains were in leisure and hospitality, food service, education, manufacturing, and health services.

“We are continuing to see steady job growth and a decline in unemployment in Minnesota, but it will take some time to replace jobs lost during the pandemic,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said Thursday, in a statement. “While job growth in Minnesota was stronger in August than in July, growth continues to be uneven across industries and occupations.”

Job growth and losses area also uneven in how they affect different groups in Minnesota. For instance, the August unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans was over 16%, up 11 percentage points from a year ago. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for white Minnesotans last month was 6.7% percent (up 3% over last year) and the unemployment rate for Hispanic Minnesotans was at 9.7% (up nearly 4% from last year).

“People in lower income occupations continue to be most impacted by job loss,” Grove said.

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