Rural counties have plenty of work

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The work is in southwestern Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune. Worthington, Marshall and Jackson are employment hubs.

"Everybody who is able to work, and willing, is probably employed," said Susan Pirsig, economic development coordinator for Jackson County. "And all of our businesses are attracting people from far away."

The Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development website has an interactive map showing the counties that border Iowa sporting the lowest unemployment rates in the state – below 3 percent. Unemployment rates in the metro and southeastern counties are also low, about 4 percent.

The Owatonna People's Press reports many southeastern counties have returned to pre-recession employment levels.

BringMeTheNews reported last week that the state as a whole continued to outperform the nation, according to November numbers from DEED.

The Star Tribune story about southwestern Minnesota attributes job growth there to a vibrant farm economy. Day care costs are lower in rural areas, so both parents may work, as opposed to the Twin Cities, where day care costs may keep a parent out of the workforce.

Area employers like AGCO in Jackson report employees tend to drive long distances.

"The cost of living is often lower in the little counties, so a farmer's spouse might be willing to drive to Marshall or Brookings, South Dakota, rather than pay higher property taxes or leave the good schools of the smaller communities," said Vince Robinson, an economic development consultant in Lincoln County.

With more jobs comes demand for more housing, and new construction. A 48-unit townhouse will be built in Jackson in 2014.

An influx of local workers can't come soon enough for Brad Mohns, owner of HitchDoc, which makes trailer hitches for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Jackson. In the past decade his business has grown from a dozen employees to 140.

"I'm turning down work because I can't find enough employees," Mohn said. "The No. 1 thing we need is housing, housing, housing."

Next Up

William_O'Brien_State_Park_-_panoramio

Man drowns in St. Croix River at William O'Brien State Park

It's not clear what caused the 46-year-old to go under.

ATV

Man, 66, dies after his ATV was hit by a minivan on highway

It happened in Renville County Friday evening.

Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 10.09.06 AM

Rochester suddenly shuts down recently opened parking ramp

Original plans for the parking lot included housing above it, but issues with construction prevented it from being built.

Mudcat Grant

Former Twins pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant dies at 85

Grant was a critical piece of the 1965 AL Championship team but did much more.

sprinkler water

Lake Elmo among latest MN cities to implement outdoor watering ban

The ban prohibits automatic or mechanical watering outdoors in an effort to conserve water during the period of extreme heat.

LRT trail in Hopkins.

Police: Suspect assaulted woman on LRT trail in Hopkins

They're asking for the public's help tracking him down.

Screen Shot 2021-06-12 at 7.50.02 AM

Former WCCO reporter Mary McGuire joins FOX 9

She'll be reporting in a freelance role with the FOX affiliate.

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker removed from rotation, fits in with Twins bullpen

The right-hander allowed two ninth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss to Houston.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis

The funeral was for one of two people killed in the shooting outside a Minneapolis nightclub in May.

Related