ST. CLOUD - The unemployment rate for the St. Cloud metro area has settled back down.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says our local February unemployment rate has dropped back down to 6.6 percent.  That's down from the 7.2 percent we had in January.

St. Cloud State University Economics Professor King Banaian said earlier this month that we usually have an unemployment increase in January, but that was an unusually high spike.

February's unemployment rate matches what it was in December.

The St. Cloud metro area unemployment rate is higher than the statewide average, which is at 5.5 percent.  But, we are lower than the national average, which is at 7.7 percent.