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September jobless rates continue downward trend

Brainerd’s jobless rate continued its downward trend in September at 9 percent.

In Brainerd, there were 694 people without jobs out of a labor force of 7,682. The latest numbers, taken from zip codes, were released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Brainerd made a slight drop from 9.4 percent unemployment in August to 9 percent in September. The new numbers represent the lowest unemployment rate in 57-straight months in Brainerd stretching back to the late fall of 2007 when the jobless rate was 8.3 percent.

The Brainerd micropolitan, which includes Cass and Crow Wing counties, posted a September jobless rate of 6.2 percent, or 3,012 unemployed people from a labor force of 48,666.

The micropolitan’s jobless rate is also on a downward trend since July. The jobless rate hasn’t been 6.2 percent in the Brainerd Micropolitan since September of 2008, some 48 months ago.

There are 16 micropolitans in the state with jobless rates ranging from a low of 4 percent in the Marshall area to a high of 6.4 percent in the Bemidji area. The jobless rate decreased across all the micropolitans. Three micropolitans in the state have a jobless rate of 6 percent or higher, with the Hutchinson area rounding out the top three.

The jobless rate also decreased across the seven-county area, continuing a steady downward trend since July.

The county unemployment rates range from the lowest — at 5.1 percent in Todd County — to the highest in Mille Lacs County at 7.6 percent.

September’s numbers represented a milestone for most counties. Aitkin and Morrison counties had to go back to 2007 for a lower rate while Cass, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs went back to 2008 for lower numbers. Todd and Wadena counties posted lower jobless numbers much more recently, with Todd County at 5.1 percent in May of this year and Wadena County at 6.7 percent in 2011.

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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