MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to pre-pandemic levels in December, hitting 3.1% for the first time since 2019.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says that the state lost about 2,000 jobs in December, but November employment numbers were revised to add 5,000 jobs, bringing the total gains to 13,600.

“Today’s jobs report is a reminder that economic progress in these times is not a straight line,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “The good news remains that our economy is bursting with great job opportunities, and DEED will continue our proactive programs to Minnesota job-seekers across the state.”

Job growth has been uneven yet rising since August of 2021, but people of color are still disproportionately impacted by unemployment. Compared to a 5.4% unemployment rate in December of 2021 for white people, Black Minnesotans saw an unemployment rate of 11.1%.

Five sectors saw job loss in December, including financial activities, professional and business services, manufacturing, trade, and leisure and hospitality. However Minnesota gained jobs in information, education and health, government and construction sectors.

The national unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in December.