Austin jobless rate ticks up in October

Published 4:19 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Austin jobless rate inched higher than it was a year ago for the first time in 17 months, although it still remains close to a four-year low.

The non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, slightly higher than the 4.8 percent from October 2011. The last time that happened was June 2011, when it was 6.2 percent, compared to 5.9 percent in June 2010. However, the 4.9 percent jobless rate last month is only three-tenths of a percentage point above the four-year low of 4.6 percent, recorded in November 2011.

The rate remained essentially unchanged from September, when it was 4.8 percent, adjusted up from the initial report of 4.7 percent.

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There were 665 people actively looking for work in Austin last month, up just 10 people from September, according to the data.

In Mower County, the rate remained unchanged from September, at 4.6 percent. There were 1,003 people actively looking for work in the county, although only 338 outside of Austin.

Rochester’s jobless rate remains one of the best in southern Minnesota, at 4.6 percent. Austin’s rate is lower than Owatonna’s, at 5.1 percent, Winona’s, at 5.6 percent, and Albert Lea’s, at 5.7.

Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate was 5.8 percent, while the national average was 7.9 percent, the second-lowest since January 2009.