The total number of initial Unemployment Insurance claims shrunk from 17,987 in February to 16,401 in March. Claims were also lower than they were twelve months ago, down 7.5 percent, or 1,328, from March of 2015. Declines were broad-based, as most sectors had fewer claims this year than last. Notable exceptions included Mining (with claims up 123.4 percent), Retail Trade (up 7.8 percent) and Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (up 23.5 percent). As is common in winter months, the Construction industry had the most initial claims, with 3,933. This represents a 0.2 percent increase over the March 2015 initial claims in that industry.
Geographically, claims declined in seven economic development regions and increased in the other six. The 7-County Twin Cities region, which is home to nearly half of the state’s claims, saw a 6.5 percent decline on the year, and had 7,176 claims on the month. EDR 9, South Central Minnesota, had the largest increase in initial claims in March, both proportionally and numerically. At 892 total initial claims, it represents 106 more claims than in March 2015, a 13.5 percent increase.
Seasonally Adjusted Data (Excel)