Archived Story

Albert Lea jobless rate improves

Published 9:21am Monday, September 24, 2012

Albert Lea’s year-over-year jobless rate improved in August and remains on par with many southern Minnesota cities.

The city’s non-seasonally adjusted rate of 6.1 percent for August 2012 is better than it was in August 2011, when the rate was 6.6, according to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. It was the fifth-straight month that the year-over-year rate improved.

There were 593 unemployed people in Albert Lea in August, according to DEED, with 9,074 employed people.

Austin showed a rate of 5.1 percent last month, below Winona at 6.5 percent, Owatonna at 6.1 percent, Mankato at 5.7 percent, Fairmont at 6 percent, Faribault at 7.6 percent and Waseca at 6.6 percent. Rochester’s rate in August was 4.7 percent.

Many economists agree the U.S. recession struck in October and November of 2008. In August 2008, Albert Lea had a non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 6.8 percent, and in August 2007, its rate was 5.4 percent.

The worst numbers for Albert Lea in recent years were in 2009, when for much of the year the rate was above 10 percent. The best numbers in recent years came in 2006, when the Albert Lea jobless rate from April to October was between 4 and 5 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.