Editorial: Unemployment rates down in Freeborn County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 12, 2005

According to the state unemployment reports, the unemployment rate in October was 4.3 percent, down from September’s rate of 4.6. The national unemployment rate in October was 5.5 percent, up from 5.4 percent in September.

Freeborn County’s rate of unemployment mirrored the state’s 4.3 percent, leaving an estimated 750 unemployed.

With a labor force of 17,345, 16,595 people were employed in the county, which beats September’s 4.8 percent unemployment. Not a bad statistic, unless you fall into the unemployed column.

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That number could fall still lower this year with the anticipated opening of Albert Lea Select Foods, and others.

While the numbers certainly indicate positive news for the area, officials should continue to encourage growth, and the reduction of unemployment rates.

As the unemployment rate falls, the community is the benefactor as healthy personal finances bring dollars to the local economy.

Of course, October is not January, when unemployment can increase. It’s difficult to believe unemployment will ever be totally wiped out &045; there are legitimate reasons a person may not be employed &045; but the drive to keep it low is commendable and the efforts of all economic development agencies should be appreciated by residents. Especially at this time of the year.