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Lakes Area jobless rates

Unemployment rates from the seven-county lakes region are at their lowest levels in 27 years, which marked the furthest search option on the state's online database.

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The Brainerd Micropolitan, including Cass and Crow Wing counties, dropped to an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. This marks the micropolitan's lowest jobless rate going back to at least 1990, where the online record stops. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Unemployment rates from the seven-county lakes region are at their lowest levels in 27 years, which marked the furthest search option on the state's online database.

For all but one area county, the jobless numbers were unmatched stretching back to January of 1990. Several counties came close to low jobless rates in 1998 and 2000, but only Mille Lacs County matched a jobless rate of 3.2 percent set in August of 2000. All the other area counties, while some were close, did not post lower unemployment rates than the ones set just last month. Those are the most recent figures available through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Thirteen counties across the state had October jobless rates less than 2 percent. The majority of the state's counties were in the 2 percent range with a few about 3 percent and four counties hit 4 percent or higher. Koochiching County, along the Canadian border, had the highest jobless percentage at 4.7 percent.

County jobless rates from October 2017

County, Labor Force, jobless rate, number of unemployed

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• Aitkin, 6,972, 3.3 percent, 233

• Cass, 14,441, 3.2 percent, 457

• Crow Wing, 31,673, 2.6 percent, 829

• Mille Lacs, 12,800, 3.2 percent, 415

• Morrison, 17.663, 2.8 percent, 492

• Todd, 12,971, 2.3 percent, 302

• Wadena, 6,072, 3 percent, 182

 

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Brainerd and the micropolitan

Brainerd's jobless rate is listed among the state's other large cities with populations of 10,000 or more. In October, Brainerd's unemployment was 3.1 percent-a far cry from the jobless rates of 20 percent in the winter and spring of 2009 and 2010. And double-digit unemployment was the norm for the Brainerd area for all but two months between November of 2008 until April of 2014. Since 2014, Brainerd's unemployment has risen above 10 percent just once. It reached a new low of 3.9 percent in September and continued to drop last month.

The majority of the state's large cities posted October jobless rates in the 2 percent to 2.5 percent range with a handful above 3 percent and just one above 4 percent. Albert Lea, Cloquet, Grand Rapids and Hibbing all had jobless rates higher than Brainerd.

The Brainerd Micropolitan, including Cass and Crow Wing counties, dropped to an unemployment rate of 2.8 percent. This marks the micropolitan's lowest jobless rate going back to at least 1990, where the online record stops. In October, Bemidji-at 3 percent unemployment-had the highest jobless rate out of the state's 16 micropolitan areas. The rest of the micropolitans ranged between a low of 1.8 percent to 2.9 percent.

October jobless rates

• Brainerd, labor force of 6,224, jobless rate of 3.1 percent, 196 unemployed.

• Brainerd Micropolitan, labor force of 46,114, jobless rate 2.8 percent, 1,286 unemployed.

• Minnesota (seasonally adjusted) labor force of 3,073,826, unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, 102,919 unemployed.

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• United States (seasonally adjusted) labor force of 160,381,000, unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, 6.5 million unemployed.

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