Minnesota begins COVID-19 unemployment insurance for high school students as jobs fall for the first time since April

Minnesota's latest unemployment numbers are dropping, but so are the number of jobs in the state.

Detroit Lakes High School in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

It's the first time since April Minnesota is losing jobs.

The latest monthly data for November shows the hardest hit industry is leisure and hospitality, losing just over 10,000 jobs.

But the overall unemployment rate is down from October to 4.4%.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, DEED, says the numbers are opposites because people who are self employed are getting back to work.


This month DEED says the number of unemployment insurance applications are going up.

"Part of it is seasonal, but there is no question part of it too is just the hit our economy is taking again as covid spikes," said Minnesota DEED Comissioner Steve Grove.

The state is hitting 300,000 weekly unemployment insurance requests per week, after months of downward trends.

To help, DEED is allowing high school students to file for COVID-19 unemployment benefits for the first time.

"It is an antiquated law that has no bearing in fact or reason today. The reality is if you are a young person and you lose your job in the same say that someone is older does, you should be eligible for the same benefits in the same ways," said Grove.

Payments for students begin tomorrow and are retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic.

And for most Americans, Congress has added a $600 stimulus check to the latest COVID-19 relief bill.


It could vote on the bill within the next couple of days.

"There is no question, the real help, the substantial help, will come from the federal government," said Grove.

Help the hospitality industry needs - as empty tables cost jobs around the state.

What To Read Next
Get Local