Weather Forecast


DEED economic road show to visit Wednesday

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development's economic and workforce "road show" comes to Bemidji on Wednesday.

Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy will lead other DEED officials in the 9 a.m. to noon presentation at the American Indian Resource Center on the Bemidji State campus.

They will provide information about the economy, the 2009 legislative session and also on the federal stimulus bill as it relates to work in Minnesota.

There will be breakout sessions to "drill down" deeper into some DEED workforce programs, a spokeswoman said, and a resource fair to bring together a number of DEED's partners in state government, education and the private sector.

The road show is part of a 10-city tour by DEED officials, which meet Tuesday in Grand Rapids.

"This will be an opportunity to talk with our partners around the state," McElroy said. "Our team will provide updates on what's new in economic development and how Minnesota communities can tap into our programs and services. We want to hear what our partners are thinking, as well."

Minnesota employers cut 16,700 jobs in June, as the state's unemployment rate in June rose to a seasonally adjusted 8.4 percent, up from 8.1 percent in May. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate in June reached 9.5 percent.

"The June employment figures represent the challenges that people and families are facing in this difficult economy," McElroy said last month. "Even though Minnesota's unemployment rate is more than a point below the national rate, we'd like to see more people connecting with employment opportunities. We encourage people looking for jobs to visit their nearest WorkForce Center for assistance."

The sectors that added jobs in June were trade, transportation and utilities, which gained 800 jobs, and financial activities, which added 600 positions.

In the region for June, Beltrami County's unemployment stood at about 9.5 percent, with both Cass and Hubbard at about 9.7 and 9.8 percent. Lowest were Lake of the Woods and Mahnomen counties at about 9 percent each.

Highest was Clearwater County with about 12.3 percent unemployment.

Beltrami County's unemployment showed a slight uptick for June, up from about 8.1 percent in May but down from this year's peak of 10.4 percent in February.

The county's labor pool has remained fairly constant after peaking at nearly 23,000 in 2003, to about 21,000 to 22, 000 for the past six years.

People who plan to attend a session are asked to send an e-mail to Mary Schneider at They should include their name, organization and the location of the session that they plan to attend.