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Labor Force and Unemployment Statistics

The county's human resources are a key ingredient for economic development. The following illustrates the labor force as one of Benton County's strongest assets. Table 1 shows Benton County's labor force and unemployment history for the last ten years.

Table 1 - Labor Force & Unemployment, 1990 - 2000

Year Labor Force Unemployment Unemployment Rate
1990 15,032 872 5.8%
1991 15,582 97 6.4%
1992 16,124 919 5.7%
1993 17,794 1,064 6.0%
1994 18,597 837 4.5%
1995 19,384 1,054 5.4%
1996 19,485 1,055 5.4%
1997 19,407 835 4.3%
1998 19.551 550 2.8%
1999 19,727 636 3.1%
2000 22,343 743 3.0%

Source: Minnesota Department of Economic Security, Research and Statistics Office, 2000

Figure 1 shows the growth of the labor force in Benton County from 1989 to 2000. Numbering 15,774 in 1989, the county's labor force has grown to 22,343 in 2000 - a 29% increase.

Figure 1 Labor Force Growth 1989 - 2000

Labor Force Growth Chart

Source: Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 2000

Figure 2 provides a close-up look at seasonal variations in the unemployment rate in Benton County. Unemployment numbers fell from January until May, where they were at their lowest point. Then fluctuated between 814 workers to 611 workers in the months of June to December. Layoffs following the Christmas season typically result in a surge in unemployment during the first two months of each year.

Figure 2 - Monthly Variations in Unemployment, 2000

Unemployment Chart

Source: Minnesota Workforce Center, 2001