These are certainly unprecedented times, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating troublesome situations in a variety of ways in Southeast Minnesota. Many of the region’s workers are finding themselves not able to go into work to earn a living while others are navigating the complexities of working from home. One thing that many workers may be dealing with is the stress that accompanies the uncertainty involved with the COVID-19 pandemic and the questions that arise that, at the current time, may not have definitive answers, such as when they can return to work and what changes may happen within their workplace upon their return.
In all, from March 16 through April 25, just over 40,300 workers in the region have submitted Unemployment Insurance applications, with the highest number of applications occurring the week ending on April 4. After rising rapidly the first three weeks, thankfully the number of unemployment insurance applications has seen a decline in subsequent weeks, dropping from 7,938 during the week ending on April 4 to 4,657 during the week ending on 4/25, a drop of 38.5 percent (see Figure 1).
Executive Order 20-48 will start bringing employees who work in non-critical industrial, office, and customer-facing jobs back to work, with proper social distancing and health and safety plans in place. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend where more workers will be returning to their jobs and the number of new unemployment insurance applications will continue to decline until, over time, it reaches a point of normalcy.
For more information, contact Southeast Minnesota Labor Market Analyst Mark Schultz at 507-205-6068.