Southeast Minnesota is a health care and agricultural powerhouse. The region is home to the renowned Mayo Clinic and some of the world's most recognized food companies and brands.
Advanced manufacturing is especially strong here, with machinery, chemicals, and electronics among the top products.
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8/3/2020 9:00:00 AM
As one of eight metropolitan statistical areas located in the state, the City of Rochester attracts a lot of attention in Southeast Minnesota. After all, it is the largest city in the region with an estimated population of almost 117,000 residents, is home to the Mayo Clinic, and has over one-third (38.5%) of all jobs in the region according to first quarter 2020 estimates from DEED's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. Though Southeast Minnesota has a total of 11 counties, a lot of what goes on in Olmsted County, where Rochester is located, has an impact on the labor market in the rest of the region.
With the onset of COVID-19, it is not surprising that Olmsted County saw the highest number of Unemployment Insurance (UI) applications between March 16th and the week ending July 13th. During this time frame, there were 26,765 UI applications in Olmsted County, which was the equivalent of almost 30% of the 2019 labor force estimate – the highest percentage of all 11 counties in the region. That means three in every ten workers experienced some sort of employment disruption due to the pandemic. Like job counts, this number of UI applications equaled over one-third (38%) of the total claims in the entire 11-county Southeast Region during this time.
Other counties that saw high numbers of UI applications include Rice County with 7,734 claims, Goodhue County with 6,551 claims, and Winona County with 6,392 claims.
And while Olmsted County saw the highest number of UI applications as a share of the labor force, other counties also saw high shares of their labor force at least apply for benefits. For example, Dodge County applications equaled 26.8% of their total labor force while more than one in every four workers in Steele County at least filed an application. In contrast, Houston County saw a much smaller percentage of workers filing UI applications than other counties in the region (see Table 1).
|Table 1. Southeast Minnesota Cumulative UI Applications (Mar. 16th - July 13th) as a Share of 2019 Annual Labor Force|
|County||Unemployment Insurance Applications||Share of 2019 Labor Force|
|Source: DEED Unemployment Insurance Applications|
Contact Mark Schultz.