Southeast Minnesota's unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in August 2015, the lowest rate reported so far this year, and 0.1 percent lower than in August 2014. The 11-county region had a total of 279,358 available workers, and just 8,857 unemployed workers, which was also the lowest number reported this year.
Two counties saw their unemployment rates drop below 3.0 percent in August 2015, led by Olmsted County at 2.8 percent and Mower County at 2.9 percent. Those were the 12th and 13th lowest rates of the 87 counties in the state. The highest rate in the region was Rice County at 3.6 percent, followed by Fillmore and Freeborn counties at 3.5 percent, though they matched the state rate of 3.5 percent in August 2015. The rest of the counties in the region had unemployment rates of 3.4 percent or lower.
At 3.6 percent, Southeast Minnesota was tied for the lowest unemployment rate of the 6 planning regions in the state. The 11-county Southeast region had over 280,000 workers in the labor force, including about 10,000 people who were unemployed and actively seeking work.
The lowest rate in the region was found in Olmsted County, home to the city of Rochester, at 3.1 percent. That was the 8th lowest rate of the 87 counties in Minnesota. Mower County was also in the lowest 15 in the state, at 3.3 percent; with low rates also reported in Goodhue (3.6%), Steele (3.6%), Wabasha (3.7%), and Dodge County (3.7%). Rice and Freeborn had the highest rates in the region, but only at 4.0 percent.
Unemployment rates remained very low in Southeast Minnesota, checking in at 3.6 percent in June of 2015. That was below the state's rate of 3.9 percent, and nearly 2 percent below the national rate of 5.5 percent. There were just over 281,100 available workers in the 11-county Southeast Minnesota region, of which about 10,250 were unemployed and actively seeking work.
The lowest unemployment rate in Southeast Minnesota was found in Olmsted County, the largest county and employment center in the region, at 3.3 percent. That was tied for the seventh lowest rate in the state. Mower County was also tied for the eleventh lowest rate in the state at 3.4 percent. Dodge (3.7%), Goodhue (3.7%), Houston (3.7%), and Steele County (3.7%) also had lower unemployment rates than the state. In contrast, the highest rates in the region were in Fillmore (4.0%), Rice (4.0%), and Wabasha County (4.0%), though that was only 0.1 percent above the state rate.