Statistics: Minneapolis-St. Paul literally pot of gold at end of rainbow


The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington labor market is tied for America's best, which could be due to the region's strong performance in rainbow manufacturing. David Brewster, Star Tribune

There are who consistently cast the Twin Cities metro area as an economic burden, home to economically naïve fantasists who will someday need to grow up, but until then must be saved from themselves

To them, the people who live and work here would like to politely, most Minnesotan-ly, ask you to please just leave the Twin Cities alone. At least for the rest of the morning. Almost all of us are trying to get ready for work. 

The Twin Cities is tied for the lowest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan area in new numbers released by the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics cover some 1.9 million people in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington's "civilian labor force," of whom, only 2.3 percent were out of work in October. That ties Minneapolis with Nashville for the lowest urban unemployment rate among 51 metropolitan areas with more than one million people.

The Twin Cities' working-age population figure and unemployment rate are down from the previous month. In September, the local labor force was 2.07 million, and 2.8 percent of them unemployed, suggesting both numbers are pretty fluid. (Did you guys notice 17,000 people leaving town? Neither did we, but then, we've been very busy.) 

Year-over-year, the Twin Cities has shaved roughly a full point off its already-pretty-low unemployment; in September-October 2016, the metro had non-workin' rates of 3.5 percent and 3.3 percent. 

That fits with a national trend, as unemployment decreeased in 47 out of the 51 big-city metro areas, and rose in only four. The Cleveland-Elyria area registered the highest rate in October, at 5.2 percent, with the inaptly named Las Vegas-Hendersonville-Paradise metro right behind it at 5.1 percent. 

Among all metropolitan areas great and small, Ames, Iowa (home to Iowa State University and... George Washington Carver, apparently?) had a positively miniscule 1.4 percent unemployment figure for October. 

Among Minnesota cities, all have seen decreases in unemployment since this time last year. Mankato-North Mankato's doing best, with a downright Ames-ian 1.8 percent unemployment (down from 2.7 perent in October 2016), followed by Rochester's (2.1 percent, down from 2.9 percent), St. Cloud (2.3 percent, down from 3.3 percent), and Duluth, which grew its civilian labor force by a few thousand people and shrunk its unemployment from 4.8 percent in fall 2016 to 3.1 percent now. (Attacity, Duluth!) 

Combined, the city areas of Minnesota have a 2.4 percent unemployment rate (down a full percentage point from 2016's 3.4 percent) among a labor force of 3,058,874, an increase of more than 50,000 folks from the year before. 

City Pages apologizes for this brief moment of positivity. To return to the bad news, we encourage you to click literally anywhere else on the internet.

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