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Unemployment in Brown County averaging 3.65 percent

BROWN COUNTY — According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) data, unemployment in Brown County has averaged 3.65% since 2016 with seasonal changes.

DEED collects workforce and employment statistics for each county in Minnesota every month. These statistics show unemployment trends have remained relatively stable over the last few years.

Overall, the county’s economic outlook has improved in the last decade. In February 2010, the county was still recovering from the economic recession of and unemployment had reached 9%.

In December 2019, DEED calculated Brown County’s unemployment at 4%. This means out of a possible labor force of 14,695 there are 592 in the county who are unemployed. In November 2019, the number of unemployed in the county was 420 or 2.8%.

The jump in unemployment from November to December is common in Brown County. DEED has reported an unemployment increase of nearly 1% between November and December every year since 1999.

Historically, in Brown County, the months with the lowest unemployment are September, October, and November. In 2019, unemployment rates were at the lowest in September and October with 2.4% unemployment. Unemployment increased in November to 2.8% before jumping to 4% at the end of the year.

Unemployment is consistently at its highest in Brown County at the start of the year. The average unemployment rate in 2019 was 3.6% but in January, February and March unemployment was over 5%. It was nearly 6% in January.

By spring, unemployment starts to decrease and it reaches its lowest around harvest time.

The same unemployment trends can be seen in surrounding counties. Redwood County and Watonwan County have similar unemployment percentages, but also have half the labor force of Brown County.

Nicollet County and Blue Earth County have a lower average unemployment rate, but also have a larger labor force than Brown. In December 2019, Nicollet’s unemployment was 2.5% and Blue Earth’s was 2.6%.

According to DEED, the last time Nicollet reported unemployment above 4% was February 2014. For Blue Earth unemployment was last above 4% in August 2013.

The average unemployment rate for all of Minnesota in 2019 was 3%, while the national average was 3.6%. Brown County is in line with the national average.

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