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Fun With Statistics

by Dave Senf
June 2017

Minnesota’s statewide seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in May was 3.4 percent. But your county’s unemployment rate was most likely different since only four counties (Meeker, Ramsey, Sherburne}, and Swift counties recorded a 3.4 percent unadjusted unemployment rate in May. Forty-three counties had rates below 3.4 percent while 40 counties had rates above 3.4 percent. Rock County recorded the lowest rate, 2.0 percent while Koochiching County had the highest at 7.8 percent.

The graph below shows the counties that since 2000 have had the lowest, most alike, and highest unemployment rates relative to the statewide unemployment. Rock County has historically had unemployment almost 2 percentage points below statewide unemployment. The unemployment rate for Clearwater County, on the other hand, has historically been nearly 6 percent higher than the statewide unemployment rate. Ramsey County’s unemployment rate is constantly very close to the statewide average.

The top portion of the graph shows the actual county and statewide unemployment data while the bottom portion displays the county and statewide difference in percentage point terms for the six selected counties. Historical comparisons for all counties can be seen online. Counties with unemployment rates lower than the statewide rate are displayed on the left while states with higher relative unemployment rates are displayed to the right.

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