Archived Story

Austin jobless rate falls to 5.1% in August; 700 looking for work

Published 11:02am Monday, September 24, 2012

Austin’s year-over-year jobless rate improved in August, the 13th-straight month that’s happened.

August’s non-seasonally adjusted rate of 5.1 percent, released Friday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, beats the 5.5 percent rate in August 2011 and is the third lowest in 2012.

There were exactly 700 people looking for jobs in August, according to DEED, compared to the 13,131 employed. August’s number is below the 5.2 percent tallied in June and July, but above the 2012 low of 4.7 percent in April.

In Mower County, the rate dropped to 4.9 percent, dipping below 5 percent for the third time this year. That also betters the 5.3 percent recorded in August 2011. There are 1,070 people actively looking for work in the county, which means there are just 370 outside of Austin.

While Austin still has a way to go before it hits the pre-recession rate of 4 to 4.5 percent, it could be worse. The city’s 5.1 percent last month is well below Winona at 6.5 percent, as well as Albert Lea and Owatonna, both at 6.1 percent. Rochester’s rate in August was 4.7 percent.

Minnesota took a hit in August, as its seasonally-adjusted rate increased to 5.9 percent, just above July’s 5.8 percent but the highest it’s been in 2012. There are 175,108 people looking for work in the state, according to DEED. Minnesota’s rate remains well below the national rate of 8.1 percent in August. Overall, the state added 24,500 jobs in the past 12 months, an increase of 0.9 percent.

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