Duluth's unemployment rates highest in the county


Serving as a hub for business in the Twin Ports area and with the high college population, it is no secret that many people come to Duluth to find work.

With the amount of people coming to Duluth in search of work from surrounding areas, and the amount of college students here already, Duluth’s unemployment rate for young adults is slightly higher, than St. Louis County's since at least 2014.

According to data from the American Community Survey on the United States Census Bureau website, Duluth is falling behind St. Louis County when it comes to employing young adults ages 18 to 30. 

According to the American Community Survey,  Duluth is slightly over the St. Louis County average unemployment rate for young adults, coming in at 13.7 percent. 

This being said, there are some groups who are still finding work and there are agencies in place to help those who are not.

Eric White, the Northeast Regional Analyst for the Department of Employment and Economic Development who compiled the American Community Survey’s Data explained what he saw.

“Now in terms of population, Duluth is the largest city in St. Louis County," said White. "This population changed the numbers a bit.”

White explains that due to Duluth being such a large city, it draws people in from all over the region who are looking for work.

“Duluth is this hub of economic activity,”  White said.  “It will continue to have this trend because local jobs are being filled by people from all over the surrounding area.” 

White also brings up the fact that college students play a role in the high unemployment rate. As a group, they face a higher unemployment rate in Duluth.

“College kids, whether they are leaving town or coming to town affect these numbers,” said White. “The unemployment rate is higher with this age cohort, because many young adults in this town are college students who aren’t always looking for jobs.”

Another trend that White noticed, is that when it comes down to these young college students looking for work, it is much easier for women to find work in Duluth than it is for men. 

“It seems like there are a lot of nursing homes, and lower level health care jobs available in town,” said White. “These jobs tend to be held by women, and this adds to women in Duluth finding work easier.  Not the only reason, but these jobs help.”

White also mentioned that there are employment agencies in Duluth that help young people find work.  There are two groups who have recently merged called TwinPorts Connex, and NORTHFORCE. 

These groups have also seen that Duluth is increasing in terms of unemployment rates for young adults.  Their goal is to meet with these young people and help point them towards a job that best suits their interest and skill set.

The numbers do not look to be in Duluth’s favor on paper.  The employment agencies and colleges hope to change this and bring in new jobs as well as find existing jobs for those that need them. Duluth is a tight-knit community and most of its residents hope to see improvement in the near future. 

Duluth provides many options to those heading out on the town any night of the week

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