County’s unemployment falls to 5%

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mower County’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest mark since November 2008 — 5.0 percent. At a time when unemployment is high elsewhere in the country and in Minnesota, Mower County’s low rate sets it apart.

While unemployment decreased, the county’s total labor force decreased by 162 to 21,662, according to figures released this week by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Minnesota’s unemployment rate decreased to a seasonally adjusted 7 percent in May, which is 2.7 percentage points below the U.S. rate of 9.7 percent. The state’s rate for April was adjusted down by 0.1 percent to 7.1 percent.

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According to a DEED press release, Minnesota has added 5,600 jobs in May. Since the low point of the recession in September 2009, Minnesota has added 34,200 jobs.

“Minnesota is experiencing signs that economic recovery is progressing,” said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. “While it will take some time for employment to return to pre-recession levels, I am encouraged to see job growth for the second consecutive month.”

Southeastern Minnesota’s unemployment rate fell to 6.0 percent compared to 6.5 percent in May. The labor force in southeastern Minnesota was 175,149 in May.