Feb 22, 2021 - News

The Twin Cities' pandemic economy advantage

This is a photo of the Minneapolis skyline at night

Photo: Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Twin Cities are among a handful of Midwest metros that have fared much better economically than the rest of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The big picture: Our unemployment rate finished 2020 at 4.7%, well below the U.S. average of 6.7%.

  • Columbus, Cincinnati and Indianapolis round out the four metros with the lowest unemployment among the 51 largest markets, according to the Wall Street Journal.

What they're saying: Economists told the WSJ that cities with diverse economies and large numbers of white-collar workers are doing better because so many jobs were able to shift to remote work.

  • "They also have less reliance on tourism compared with other large metro areas, relatively low population densities, and their overall COVID-19 caseloads haven’t been as severe," the WSJ wrote.

The bottom line: Minnesota lost 387,800 jobs in the first months of the pandemic and only regained 140,300 of them by the end of the year, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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