Figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) show that unemployment numbers are on the decline around the state and in Chip­pewa County.


Figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) show that unemployment numbers are on the decline around the state and in Chip­pewa County.

In Minnesota, unemployment was at 8.2 percent at the beginning of 2009  and as of November 2011, unemployment was at 5.2 percent.

In Chippewa County, unemployment was at 7.8 percent at the beginning of 2009  and as of November 2011, unemployment was at 4.4 percent.

While the numbers show a decrease in unemployment  at both the state and county levels — with Chippewa County ahead of the state levels — the news is not entirely positive. A DEED quarterly census of employment and wages report shows that from quarter 2 of 2007 to quarter 2 of 2011 a total of 689 jobs were lost and 29 businesses were lost.

The biggest losses were in the retail and wholesale trades as well as the manufacturing sector.

While the numbers show improvement, the reality may  be a little more complicated.

“The unemployment rate has gone down, but there are still plenty of people coming in,” said Heather Goslee with the Montevideo WorkForce Center. “There are a lot of people coming in that have never been here before.”

Many people are going into the workforce center for help with résumés or questions, but there has also been an increase in people coming in who do have jobs, but are looking for a different job or more work. While these people are employed, they are underemployed, and not earning enough of a wage or being able to work enough hours. While this may mean they are em­ployed, they are not working full time or at a job that pays what they are used to earning, or wanting to earn.

Another factor mentioned by the staff at the workforce center that may be leading to lower unemployment numbers is jobless individuals giving up in their search for a job after so long, or running out of unemployment. These individuals may not always end up counted in unemployment figures, thus skewing the numbers slightly.