I posted earlier today on the recession’s impact from the vantage point of a librarian assistant in Wadena, Minn., who’s seen the library’s Internet use morph from kids chatting and playing games to adults searching for jobs.
But unemployment — 11 percent in April and 13.6 percent in March — is only a piece of the picture of Wadena’s recession.
Paul Sailer, human services director in Wadena County has been tracking data showing the rising needs of citizens there. Below is the detail he sent me. Most of it is self-explanatory. The Minnesota Family Investment Program is the state’s family welfare program.
What do you see in the data? I’m struck by a couple of stats: the jump in the number of households on food support and the jump in the number of non-custodial parents receiving unemployment benefits. That matches up with what we posted earlier this week that the tough economy often translates into more child support cases.
|Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program|
|Medical Assistance and General Assistance Medical Care|
|Family Emergency Assistance||2006||2007||2008||2009 (year to date)|
|Total Spent ($)||25,437||28,784||35,282||11,323|
|Child Support Caseload|
|Caseload Size||Non-custodial Parents Receiving Unemployment Benefits|
We remain on the lookout for unusual or offbeat Minnesota economic trends, something a little different from the typical data that you’re using to judge if things are getting better or worse.
Click here, shoot us a note and tell us what you’re seeing, then type “MinnEcon Indicator” in the headline box and send it.