Austin’s jobless rate is lowest in four years

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The local November jobless numbers came out this morning, and Austin’s rate dropped to 4.5 percent, just below last November’s mark and the lowest since May of 2008.

There were 606 Austin residents actively looking for work last month, the lowest since there were 583 in November 2008, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The 4.5 percent non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is the lowest since May of 2008’s mark of 4.4, and is now comfortably within Austin’s pre-recession range of roughly 4 to 5 percent. November is the third-straight month the rate dipped below 5 percent, and the fifth time this year.

October’s rate was 4.9 percent, just above the October 2011 rate of 4.8, the first time that occurred in 17 months.

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In Mower County, the jobless rate was 4.4 percent in November, just below the November 2011 rate of 4.5 percent and the lowest since it was 4.3 percent in October of 2008. There were 942 people actively looking for work in the county, or 336 outside of Austin.

Rochester’s jobless rate remains one of the best in southern Minnesota, at 4.1 percent. Austin’s rate is lower than Owatonna’s, at 4.8 percent, Winona’s, at 4.8 percent, and Albert Lea’s, at 6 percent.

Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate was 5.7 percent, while the national average was 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008.