Jobless rate continues to drop in Duluth area in October
The jobless rate continued to plummet in Duluth in October, reaching 3.7 percent, a level not seen in 12 years. That was down from September's 4.3 percent as the number of jobs grew by 220, and nearly 300 fewer people were on the unemployment rol...
The jobless rate continued to plummet in Duluth in October, reaching 3.7 percent, a level not seen in 12 years.
That was down from September’s 4.3 percent as the number of jobs grew by 220, and nearly 300 fewer people were on the unemployment rolls, according to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The story was similar elsewhere in northern Minnesota, where the region as a whole slipped to 4 percent, as did the larger Twin Ports area. For both, that was the lowest jobless rate since late 2000.
The labor force - defined as those working and actively looking for work - remained stable in the Twin Ports area in October. But elsewhere, a smaller labor force contributed to the declining rates.
St. Louis County dropped to 3.8 percent, while Lake County’s jobless rate was just 3 percent. For both counties, that was 1.5 percent below their rates in October 2013, a reflection of an improving economy.
Economists prefer such year-to-year comparisons, rather than month-to-month comparisons as a better judge of an area’s economic health.
On the Iron Range, Hibbing’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in October, down from 6.7 in October 2013. And Virginia’s reached 4 percent, down from 6.4 percent a year ago. Both were at their lowest levels since 2000.
Rates have been dropping since July as part of a typical seasonal decline but at lower levels than have been seen in years. Rates could drop even further in November before the typical winter uptick begins.
An exception was Grand Rapids, where unemployment rose from 6.1 percent in September to 6.3 percent in October. But that’s still a dramatic drop from last year’s 8.3 percent.