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September unemployment the lowest so far in 2009

The September unemployment rate of 8.8 percent is the lowest rate of the year, according to information provided by Wadena County Social Services. Unemployment in August was 9.3 percent.

Past unemployment numbers for September are 7.2 percent in 2008, 5.9 percent in 2007 and 5.8 percent in 2006.

The labor force showed a drop of around 200 people from August numbers of 7,060 people to September numbers of 6,853 people, Human Services Director Paul Sailer pointed out to the Wadena County Social Services Board.

Sailer also pointed out that the number of non-custodial parents receiving unemployment benefits has risen from 12 in September 2008 to 52 in September 2009 while the child support caseload in the county only rose slightly from 853 last September to 861 this September.

The number of households receiving food support is dramatically higher than it was in September 2006 when 366 total households were being served by the program to this September when 632 households were being served.

The county's family emergency assistance program has remained pretty consistent with previous years during 2009. There was a pickup in activity, however, during the last month or so largely due to heating costs, Sailer said.