Unemployment rate dropsPublished 11:04am Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Fergus Falls’ unemployment rate continued to show minor improvement in August, falling to 5 percent as compared to 5.4 percent in August 2011. Though the year-to-year comparison is not a big drop, both numbers are well below August 2010’s level of 6.8 percent.
August’s jobless rate also continues a slow drop in the rate over the summer, with May’s rate coming in at 5.3 percent, June’s at 5.2 and July’s at 5.1. July’s percentage was more than two points lower than that of July 2011, when a Minnesota government shutdown put many state employees temporarily out of work.
Otter Tail County saw a slightly better percentage improvement, dropping to 4.8 percent in August compared to August 2011’s 5.3 percent and July 2012’s 5.2 percent.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development put the number of employed in Fergus Falls at 7,000, slightly below the estimated number of employed in the city at this time last year. However, the number of unemployed workforce members in the city also fell (370 compared to 404).
Minnesota’s jobless rate was 5.6 percent in August (5.9 seasonally adjusted). Otter Tail County was in the middle of the pack compared to its surrounding counties, with a lower rate than that of Grant (5.7), Todd (5.6) and Wadena (7.2) and a higher rate than Becker (4.6), Clay (3.7), Douglas (4.5) and Wilkin (4.1).