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Southeast Region

southeast-minnesota-mapSoutheast 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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Honoring Minnesotans Who Served on Veterans Day and Year Round

11/5/2020 9:00:00 AM

Every year, Veterans Day occurs on November 11th, commemorating the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918, which marked the end of what was then called the "war to end all wars". Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of the war. November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938 and began being commonly called Veterans Day following World War II.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, there were just over 31,000 veterans in the 11 counties of Southeast Minnesota in 2018, accounting for 8.1% of the region's adult population. The largest number of these veterans were from the Vietnam and Korean War eras, and were in the oldest age groups.

There were also about 13,200 veterans between the ages of 18 and 64, comprising 4.4% of the civilian working-age population. As the largest county by population in the region, Olmsted had the largest number of veterans who are of working age as well. However, the county with the largest percentage of veterans was Goodhue, where 6.2% of the civilian population between the ages of 18 and 64 were veterans, followed by Dodge (5.5%), Freeborn (4.8%) and Wabasha and Mower counties (see Table 1).

Table 1. Southeast Minnesota Veteran Status, 2018 Working Age Population
County Civilian Population 18 Years & Over Veterans Percent Veterans Civilian Population 18 to 64 Years Veterans Percent Veterans
Dodge Co. 15,090 1,272 8.4% 12,202 671 5.5%
Fillmore Co. 15,786 1,389 8.8% 11,544 510 4.4%
Freeborn Co. 23,843 2,266 9.5% 17,200 828 4.8%
Goodhue Co. 35,778 3,519 9.8% 27,204 1,690 6.2%
Houston Co. 14,614 1,309 9.0% 10,843 415 3.8%
Mower Co. 29,663 2,660 9.0% 22,407 1,048 4.7%
Olmsted Co. 115,237 8,153 7.1% 92,838 3,498 3.8%
Rice Co. 51,258 3,576 7.0% 41,550 1,525 3.7%
Steele Co. 27,404 2,213 8.1% 21,355 946 4.4%
Wabasha Co. 16,853 1,640 9.7% 12,403 583 4.7%
Winona Co. 41,510 3,184 7.7% 33,371 1,470 4.4%
Southeast Minnesota 387,036 31,181 8.1% 302,917 13,184 4.4%
Source: U.S. Census American Community Survey

In the Southeast region, the labor force participation rate for working age veterans between 18 and 64 years was 82.6%. When broken down by the 11 counties that make up the region, the veteran labor force participation rates see some variation. The highest veteran labor force participation rate was seen in Dodge County (93.7%), followed by Freeborn (89%) and Steele (85.7%), while the lowest veteran labor force participation rates were seen in Houston and Rice counties, where the participation rates were under 80%. In all but three counties (Freeborn, Dodge and Steele) the labor force participation rates for Veterans were lower than the rates among the civilian population between the ages of 18 and 64. The differences in the labor force participation rates ranged from 5.4 percentage points higher for veterans in Freeborn County to 10.3 points lower for veterans in Houston County (see Figure 1).

Labor Force Participation Rates 2018The Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) honors current and former military members on Veterans Day and year round. DEED staff wants to do all they can to serve those who have served in the U.S. military, including by offering job search and placement assistance. Below are some steps that veterans can take in order to get assistance with their work search and job retention.

  1. Contact a DEED CareerForce Veterans Employment Representative to get assistance with job search efforts, resume help, job placement and answers to career-related questions. In Southeast Minnesota, Josh Hessler is the Veteran's Employment Representative for DEED.
  2. Utilizing websites such as, which is operated by DEED, or GPS LifePlan which offers a host of services for Veterans.
  3. Veterans can get help with writing their resumes and then post them online for no fee on, which lists thousands of job openings throughout the state.

Veterans, active duty military service members, and their spouses are also invited to participate in this year's Virtual Veterans Career Fair taking place on November 19.

For More Information

Contact Mark Schultz.

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