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May jobless rates continue downward trend

Jobless rates across the region fell for the fourth straight month with the latest numbers for May.

Unemployment rates for counties and cities were released by the state Tuesday.

Jobless rates across the seven-county area were lower this May than for the same time period in the last four years.

Brainerd’s jobless rate dropped slightly from April’s 10.9 percent to 10.2 percent in May. The percentages mean there are 809 people out of work from a labor force of 7,908 in Brainerd.

Bemidji retains the title it recently took from Brainerd as the city in the state (with a population of 10,000 or more) with the highest unemployment rate. Bemidji’s jobless rate for May was 10.6 percent. Bemidji and Brainerd are the only large cities in the state with double-digit unemployment.

Other cities have jobless rates in 4, 5 and 6 percent range.

The Brainerd micropolitan, covering Cass and Crow Wing counties, had a May jobless rate of 6.4 percent in May with 3,191 people without jobs from a labor force of 49,569. The micropolitan’s jobless rate has been dropping since February when it was 10.2 percent to 9.9 percent in March and 7.3 percent in April.

The jobless rate in the seven-county region ranged from a low of 5.1 percent in Todd County to a high of 8.1 percent in Mille Lacs County.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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