Brainerd continues to hold the not-so-coveted reign as having the highest unemployment in the state among large cities.
Brainerd’s jobless rate rose from 13.3 percent in December to 14.9 percent in January. The number of unemployed in January was 1,074.
When compared to other cities with a population of 10,000 or more, Brainerd is the only city with double digit unemployment. Next in line with the highest unemployment rate is Bemidji with an 8.2 percent unemployment rate, following by Hutchinson with 8.1 percent. All the other cities ranged from Worthington, which had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.9 percent to Fergus Falls with 7.3 percent.
Brainerd’s unemployment rates tend to be on the higher side during the winter months as it has a significant amount of seasonal employment.
Brainerd’s 14.9 percent unemployment rate also does not take into account Baxter’s population even though the cities border each other.
For a broader view, the jobless rate in the Brainerd micropolitan, which covers Crow Wing and Cass counties, increased to 10.1 percent, compared to 8.9 percent in December.
Jobless rates also rose in the seven-county region in January. Mille Lacs and Cass counties seen the highest increase as both counties had a 11.7 percent unemployment rate in January. In December, Mille Lacs had 10.2 percent and Cass had a 10 percent unemployment rate. Todd County had the lower increase from 6.5 percent to 7.8 percent rate.
Crow Wing County’s unemployment rate has been slowing increasing since October. In October, the unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, then it jumped to 7.4 percent in November, to 8.5 percent in December, to 9.4 percent in January.
The Minnesota unemployment rate rose from 5.8 percent in December to 6.4 percent in January, with 187,890 people unemployed.
The January jobless rates across the seven county area include:
County, January jobless rate, unemployed people:
• Aitkin, 9.8%, 722.
• Cass, 11.7%, 1,647.
• Crow Wing, 9.4%, 3,067.
• Mille Lacs, 11.7, 1,423.
• Morrison, 9.4%, 1,756.
• Todd, 7.8%, 984.
• Wadena, 9.8%, 628.
• Brainerd (city), 14.9%, 1,074.
• Brainerd Micropolitan, 10.1%, 4,714.
• Minnesota, 6.4%, 187,890.
Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.