Jobless rate drops here2010 just might be ending on a positive note for the unemployed – at least for those in Douglas County.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
2010 just might be ending on a positive note for the unemployed – at least for those in Douglas County.
According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) website, which is a division of the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for Douglas County is the lowest it has been in 14 months. The latest stats – from October of this year – indicate that the unemployment rate is at 5.3 percent – down from the previous month, which was 5.6 percent.
And, Douglas County’s unemployment rate is better than the state’s, which remained steady at 7.1 percent and well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 9.8 percent.
The state’s unemployment rate, which was recently announced by Positively Minnesota, a division of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted rate of 7.1 percent.
Employment declined by 5,100 jobs during the month of November, but that was partially offset by revised October figures that added another 1,900 jobs to the 14,100 job gains that were reported last month, according to Positively Minnesota.
So far this year, the state has added about 44,800 jobs, a growth rate of 1.7 percent compared with the U.S. pace of 0.6 percent.
“While we had hoped for stronger employment growth last month, Minnesota has consistently outperformed the national economy over the past year,” said Dan McElroy, DEED commissioner.
Locally, the labor force for Douglas County is at 20,708 with 19,603 people employed and 1,105 unemployed, according to October figures from the BLS website.
The highest unemployment rates in the last 14 months for Douglas County were during the months of January, February and March of 2010 when the unemployment rates were 7.7 percent, 7.6 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
Since March of this year, Douglas County’s unemployment rate has seen a steady decline, which is a good sign, according to experts.
Sectors that gained jobs in November included government (up 3,500), manufacturing (up 1,800) and professional and business services (up 1,500), according to Positively Minnesota.
Job losses in the last month were seen in leisure and hospitality (down 4,000), financial activities (down 2,900), trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,100), education and health services (down 700), construction (down 600) and information (down 200), according to statistics from DEED.
As a whole for the past year, sectors that have added jobs include manufacturing, education and health services, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities and information.
Job losses as a whole for the past year were found in construction, financial activities and government.
DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. More information about DEED can be found on the Positively Minnesota website at www.positivelyminnesota.com.