Wadena County’s recession, by the numbers

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.

Food Support




(April)

2006 2007 2008 2009
Adults

480 565 616 778
Children

250 304 325 478
Total Households
386 447 477 610














Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and Diversionary Work Program
(April)

2006 2007 2008 2009
Adults

111 124 111 103
Children

200 221 194 187
Total Households
120 120 106 111














Medical Assistance and General Assistance Medical Care

(April)

2006 2007 2008 2009
Adults

1,344 1,391 1,446 1,547
Children

1,052 1,096 1,104 1,273
Total Households
1,452 1,496 1,527 1,632














Family Emergency Assistance 2006 2007 2008 2009 (year to date)
Total Spent ($)
25,437 28,784 35,282 11,323














Unduplicated Cases
2006 2007 2008 2009
(April)

1,489 1,520 1,576 1,711








Child Support Caseload

Caseload Size Non-custodial Parents Receiving Unemployment Benefits
2008


September 853 12
October 850 18
November 855 28
December 861 49
2009


January 864 68
February 863 70
March 871 78
April 872 73


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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.

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