MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s unemployment rate continued to decline in April, dropping to 4.1%. That’s down from 4.2% in March as more Minnesotans find work or return to jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday that the state gained 11,300 jobs last month. These gains follow job growth over the three previous months, a period during which more than 84,000 jobs were added.

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The recent job growth coincides with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Yet, according to DEED, the state is still down more than 180,000 jobs since last spring, when the state’s initial pandemic lockdown resulted in 416,000 jobs being shed.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said that the state is currently working with Minnesotans looking for work and connecting them to employers who are seeking talent. “There are many good jobs available now,” he said, in a statement.

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Disparities exist between groups of Minnesotans looking for work. According to DEED, the unemployment rate for Black Minnesotans was at 8.9% last month, down slightly from March. Meanwhile, the unemployment for white Minnesotans was at 5.6% in April, down from 5.9% in March.

When looking at 12-month averages, the unemployment rates for all groups are up significantly. For whites, the increase is 2.4%; for Blacks, the percentage was nearly twice that, at 4.6%.

The sectors that saw the most job growth last month were professional and business services, government, leisure and hospitality, trade and transportation, and construction.

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Unlike in Minnesota, the overall U.S. unemployment rate rose last month to 6.1%.