Brainerd faced an unemployment rate in 2009 that put the city in an undesirable No. 1 position.
The city had the highest unemployment rate in the state - at an eye-opening 21 percent - at the start of the year. And by year's end, the city was back at the top with a 15.4 percent jobless rate in November.
Just five cities out of 66 listed with populations of 10,000 or more had double-digit unemployment rates as of November. Brainerd was joined by Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Hibbing and Virginia with jobless rates ranging from 10.5 percent to 11.9 percent.
Sue Roberts worked at Clow Stamping in Merrifield in April. In Brainerd, many people were out of work in 2009. Dispatch file photo » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Brainerd's November jobless rate of 15.4 percent meant 1,134 people out of the city's labor force were without jobs.
In April 2000, the unemployment rate in Brainerd was 4.8 percent. It rose to 11.5 percent in April of 2008.
Even when the economy hits a plateau and starts back up, increases in jobs are expected to lag behind the financial recovery.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at renee.richardson@ brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.
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