Comparisons to Great Recession: Women Affected More than Men by COVID-19 Employment Impacts in Southwest Minnesota

Minnesota regional map with Southwest MN area highlighted and words Southwest Minnesota Regional Labor Market Information Blog

There have been just over 28,150 Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications filed by workers in Southwest Minnesota from March 16 through April 28. That was nearly double the number of UI claims filed over the entire year in 2019, when 15,489 UI claims were tallied. And it is almost as many as the total number for 2009, at the peak of the Great Recession, when there were 32,464 UI claims filed by workers in the Southwest Minnesota region.

Not only is the speed of the increase in UI in 2020 far faster than in 2009, but the gender ratio of people filing UI claims is also very different.

Comparing March of 2009 to March 2020, we see that  just over two-thirds of UI claims were filed by males in 2009, while the percentages are flipped in 2020, with nearly two-thirds of UI claims filed by females. In March 2009, the most impacted jobs were in the male-dominated Manufacturing and Construction industries. In March 2020, most UI claims were in the female dominated Accommodation and Food Services, Personal Care Services, and Health Care and Social Assistance industries. While there were still a lot of claims in Manufacturing & Construction in March of 2020, they accounted for a much smaller share of total claims compared to 2009 (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Percent of UI applications by Gender
March 2009 vs. March 2020

Percent of UI applications by gender, March 2009 vs March 2020, for more information, contact Labor Market Analysts Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz at 507-205-6068.

Less Leisure: Southwest Minnesota Least Impacted by COVID-19 UI Applications

Even with those large numbers of regional UI applications over the past six weeks, Southwest Minnesota has overall been the least impacted among all six planning regions in new UI applications. This is because the Southwest Region has the smallest share of total employment in the Leisure & Hospitality industry of the six planning regions in the state. With just over 14,000 jobs in Leisure & Hospitality, which includes restaurants, hotels, and casinos, only 8% of total jobs in the region were in the industry that was most directly and immediately impacted (see Figure 2) as compared to the state average of 10% and the Northeast region which has the highest employment in this industry at 13.2%.

Share of total employment in Leisure & Hospitality in 2019, for more information, contact Labor Market Analysts Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz at 507-205-6068.

For more information, contact Labor Market Analysts Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378 or Mark Schultz at 507-205-6068.