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MN unemployment rate falls

ST. PAUL -The state unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted 5.9 percent in September, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The U.S. unemployment rate in September remained unchanged at 6.1 percent.

Minnesota employers cut 2,300 jobs in September, reflecting a continued national economic slowdown. Employers nationwide cut 159,000 jobs in September.

Over the past 12 months, employment in Minnesota has declined 0.7 percent, while the nation has declined 0.4 percent.

"Minnesota's strong insurance and banking industries have led to statewide growth in financial activities over the past 12 months," said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. "This resiliency is particularly noteworthy, given job losses in this sector nationally."

The financial activities sector in Minnesota has grown 1.2 percent during the past 12 months.

Within that category, the state's finance and insurance industry has grown 2.7 percent over the year, outperforming the nation's loss of 1.1 percent.

Also during the past year, education and health services grew 1.9 percent with 8,200 new jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities grew 0.1 percent with 300 additional jobs.

In September, jobs were added in education and health services (up 2,100 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (up 700), and information (up 600). Natural and resources and mining held steady.

During the month, job losses were posted by government (down 1,100), other services (down 1,100), construction (down 1,000), financial activities (down 1,000), leisure and hospitality (down 700), professional and business services (down 500) and manufacturing (down 300).

Employment in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area has dropped 0.7 percent in the past year with the loss of 12,900 jobs.

Also over the past year, Duluth-Superior declined 0.5 percent with the loss of 700 jobs, Rochester grew 0.3 percent with 350 new jobs, St. Cloud fell 0.5 percent with 500 lost jobs, Fargo-Moorhead increased 0.7 percent with 900 new jobs and Grand Forks grew 1.4 percent with 770 jobs.

These figures are not seasonally adjusted.

For additional information on the September employment information, please visit www.positivelyminnesota.