Olmsted Co. unemployment rate drops - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Olmsted Co. unemployment rate drops

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the unemployment rate in Olmsted County fell to 4.1 percent in November.

That's 0.4 percent lower than October of this year.

Right now Olmsted County is a full percentage point lower than the state average of 5.1 percent.

The main reason for low unemployment is Mayo Clinic, said Bruce Thompson, Workforce Development Coordinator at Workforce Development, Inc. The new proton building is driving demand for workers like carpenters and other skilled positions.

Over at Express Employment in Rochester, Curt Wigham says he had an especially hard time filling metalworking positions, and the wages in that industry are going up. While he says it makes his job harder, it's good for the area.

"Anytime that people's wages rise and there's more people working, means more taxes are being paid on their income to the federal and state government," Wigham said. "That means that they can spend more on Christmas. They can spend more on their birthday. They can do more of everything because they have more money in their pocket, so it should benefit everybody in every area."

Other areas of growth are in healthcare, hospitality and high-end information technology.

The trend is a bit different in December however, employers have been holding off on hiring because of fear of the fiscal cliff.

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