by Mark Schultz~

Teenagers provide a welcome bump in the available labor force across Minnesota, having the seventh-highest labor force participation rate for teenagers in the country, at 48.5%.

The labor force participation rate was even higher for teens in Southeast Minnesota, where over 56% of people aged 16-19 were in the labor force over the last 5 years. That was just over 16,000 teenage workers; about 6% of the total labor force.

Teenage labor force participation rates ranged from a low of 44.8% in Dodge County to a high of 64.2% in Wabasha County. Southeast Minnesota is known as a hard-working region; 10 of the 11 counties in the region had higher labor force participation rates than the state. This includes 2 counties that had more than 60% of their teens in the labor force (see Map 1).


Map 1 Labor Force 16-19

Of the 16,150 teenage workers in the region, just under 3,000 were considered unemployed and actively seeking work. That means teens in Southeast Minnesota had an unemployment rate of 18.5% in 2013; three times higher than the total population.  In contrast, unemployment rates were lowest for workers between 25 and 54 years of age.

The highest jobless rates for teens were found in Winona (33.1%), Mower (26.1%) and Goodhue (24.9%) County. These were all among the top 10 teen unemployment rates in the state.

Employers in these counties may have an easier time recruiting teenagers to fill their jobs!

For more information, contact  Mark Schultz at 507-205-6068.


Mark Schultz is the Southeast Regional Analyst for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.


Featured image courtesy of Cyndy Sims Parr under Creative Commons 2.0