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Clay County has lowest unemployment in Minnesota

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region Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Clay County boasts Minnesota's lowest unemployment rate, and North Dakota is part of a central U.S. region that offers a positive light in a nation where the jobless rate in many counties is 10 percent or higher.

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Those two facts are illustrated in this county-by-county map produced by the American Observer, an online journalism magazine.

The map, which uses October data, shows that North Dakota has one of the best unemployment pictures in the nation. Among the hard-hit states are California, Oregon, Michigan and the Carolinas.

Clay County's unemployment rate is coded on the map as between 4 and 4.9 percent. Cass County is also coded in that range.

There are several reasons for Clay County's low jobless rate, said Moorhead Economic Development Authority board member Mark Hintermeyer, including the stability of agriculture in recent years, the oil boom in neighboring North Dakota and the conservative nature of banks in the area.

The area also has "an exceptionally well-educated and hard-working work force," said Lauri Winterfeldt, who also serves on the Economic Development Authority board. "I think people who have businesses here realize this is a good place to expand."

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