People searching for jobs in Owatonna and Steele County are finding them. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reports Owatonna's unemployment rate at 1.7% and the county's at 1.6%. The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) calls the rate "minuscule" in its weekly e-newsletter Tuesday Talk.

"This is the second month in a row of this low percentage of unemployed and stands as a low mark for well over a decade according to MN DEED's data. Unemployment is tracked based on job seekers who can't find work."

Tuesday Talk also provides a report from Spherion that there are over 2,600 job postings in Steele County currently. The state's unemployment rate is 2.0% and the national mark is 3.6%.

DOWNTOWN THURSDAY IS A BIG DRAW

Tuesday Talk reports great numbers for the July 7 Downtown Thursday event, "With no exact way to calculate attendance, it was clear the turnout for July's event surpassed the numbers from June. Larger number of vendors and great music were the key to another successful event."

Find pictures on the Downtown Owatonna - Facebook page. The final Downtown Thursday for 2022 is Thursday, August 4.

AMBASSADORS HELP BREAK GROUND

The Chamber sent its Ambassadors to the groundbreaking for the expansion of the Owatonna Wastewater Plant on July 8, "The expansion of the plant positions the community for future growth without further watershed degradation. Rice Lake Construction Group will construct the new plant and Nero Engineering will provide engineering services. The project is expected to be completed in late 2024."

NEW AVIATION BUSINESS IN OWATONNA

The Chamber invites the public to an open house on Thursday, July 21 from 2 - 5 pm at the Owatonna Degner Regional Airport on a new venture that will offer business and personal luxury travel from Owatonna. More info here.

See All The New Food Options and Vendors for the 2022 Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair finally got around to announcing the highly anticipated list of new foods for 2022. Highlights include a pickle pizza, a cotton candy float, and lots of new vegan options.