Unemployment rates continue to drop
Late summer continued this year's trend of retreating unemployment numbers. To match August's jobless rate of 7.2 percent, would mean traveling back to October of 2007. Brainerd went through 45 straight months of double-digit unemployment from la...
Late summer continued this year's trend of retreating unemployment numbers.
To match August's jobless rate of 7.2 percent, would mean traveling back to October of 2007. Brainerd went through 45 straight months of double-digit unemployment from late 2008 through the summer of 2012 before it dropped just below 10 percent for three months that fall before rising again. Brainerd has not posted four straight months of an unemployment rate below 10 percent in seven years.
Even with this milestone, Brainerd continues to have the highest jobless rate in the state for a large city of 10,000 or more. Brainerd is trailed by Bemidji at 7 percent, Grand Rapids at 6.6 percent and Virginia at 6.9 percent. The majority of the other large cities in the state have unemployment rates in the 2, 3 and 4 percent range.
Brainerd's numbers mean there are 515 people unemployed out of the labor force of 7,137. Job hiring signs are posted at a number of businesses in the city with one restaurant offering a hiring bonus of $50.
August jobless rates in Brainerd.
• 2004 - 7.1 percent.
• 2005 - 5.4 percent.
• 2006 - 5.7 percent.
• 2007 - 7.4 percent.
• 2008 - 10.1 percent.
• 2009 - 13.6 percent.
• 2010 - 11.9 percent.
• 2011 - 11 percent.
• 2012 - 9.8 percent.
• 2013 - 9.6 percent.
• 2014 - 7.2 percent.
To get a wider view, the Brainerd Micropolitan - with a labor force of 48,383 from Crow Wing and Cass counties - has an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent in August. That percentage rate translates to 2,199 people from the labor force who are without jobs. The micropolitan's August rate is down from 5.1 percent in July. The August rate is the lowest for the micropolitan since 2006. There are 16 micropolitan areas in the state. Bemidji's has the highest unemployment rate at 4.9 percent. The majority of the other micropolitan rates range from 2.9 percent to 3.9 percent. Just four micropolitans are at 4 percent or above - Bemidji, Brainerd, Faribault-Northfield and Fairmont.
The seven-county area had a combined labor force of 103,597 in August with 4,804 people listed as unemployed. Crow Wing County has the largest labor force at 34,089.
Minnesota's seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.3 percent in August while the national rate was 6.1 percent.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .
August jobless rates
County Unemployment Last time it was this low
Aitkin 5% 2006
Cass 5.2% 2007
Crow Wing 4.3% 2006
Mille Lacs 5.6% 2006
Morrison 4.5% 2007
Todd 3.8% 2004
Wadena 4.9% 2006
Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.