by Luke Greiner
Minnesota matched its pre-recession employment peak back in September 2013 and by August 2015 reached a new peak, 3 percent higher than the previous. While the Great Recession is well in the past for the state, there are still many regions struggling to regain the jobs lost during the Great Recession.
In fact, over half (45) of the counties in the state had fewer jobs in 2014 than in 2007. Some of the largest negative change occurred in Western Minnesota, led by Traverse County which still has 15.3 percent fewer jobs. Six other counties have lost one-in-ten jobs since 2007: Aitkin, Martin, Red Lake, Swift, Waseca, and Yellow Medicine Counties.
Although the share of lost jobs is greatest in smaller counties, the largest numeric losses actually occurred in Ramsey County where employment is down nearly 8,000 jobs by the end of 2014. Crow Wing, Freeborn, McLeod, Martin, Morrison, and Waseca, all have 700 less jobs in 2014 compared to 2007.
Positive job growth since the recession started eight years ago is led by Pennington County, with 16 percent more jobs in 2014 than in 2007. Carver, Jackson, and Rock Counties all gained more than 10 percent, while the most net new jobs occurred in Hennepin County thanks to an increase of 16,592 more jobs in 2014 than in 2007. Carver, Dakota, Sherburne, and Washington Counties all enjoy more than 2,000 new jobs since the recession started.
How does your county stack up?