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Unemployment holding at 2008 level in county

Wadena County unemployment for November was at 9.4 percent, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Unemployment was 9.6 percent in November 2008.

The unemployment rate dropped each month from July's rate of 10 percent until rising again in November. Unemployment was 8.5 percent in October.

The child support caseload in November was the same as December 2008 at 861, according to the Wadena County Social Services recession report. The number of non-custodial parents receiving unemployment benefits is higher, however, increasing from 49 in December 2008 to 65 this November. The highest number of non-custodial parents receiving unemployment from September 2008 to November 2009 was 78 in March with a child support caseload of 871.

There was an increase in Minnesota Family Investment Program and Diversionary Work Program cases since August, according to the social services' monthly statistical report. There were 96 MFIP cases in August and 111 in November. There were 12 DWP cases in August and 18 in November. These numbers have held pretty steady over the year, said Paul Sailer, the county's human services director.

Food stamp cases continue to increase with 668 households receiving support in November compared to 630 in August. Food support served 394 households in November 2006.

The family emergency assistance fund is going to end up spending less than 2008, Sailer said. The county spent $35,282 in emergency assistance in 2008 and $27,809 up through November in 2009.

It will be very interesting to see the numbers December through February, Sailer said.

"These are the months that [there] are typically higher assistance cases and much higher unemployment," he said.