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Unemployment rate falls in September

Minnesota's unemployment rate fell 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted 7.3 percent in September, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The U.S. unemployment rate climbed 0.1 percent to 9.8 percent in September.

About 15,000 more Minnesotans were employed in September, but there were nearly 19,000 fewer who were unemployed.

That means that 4,000 people left the labor force, reducing the state's labor force participation rate to 72.3 percent last month.

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age people in Minnesota who are employed, or unemployed and looking for a job.

Minnesota employers shed 7,900 jobs in September.

Minnesota's over-the-year job loss is 4.5 percent, compared with the nation's loss of 4.2 percent.

These mixed results are to be expected as Minnesota and the country begin to recover from the effects of the worldwide recession," said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. "Minnesota's unemployment rate, now 2.5 percent lower than the national rate, is headed in the right direction.

"It is also encouraging that five of the state's 11 industry sectors gained employment during the month, including manufacturing, which added 1,800 jobs."

The strongest sector was trade, transportation and utilities, which added 2,600 jobs.

Other gains were seen in manufacturing (up 1,800), information (up 500), mining and logging (up 400) and financial activities (up 300).

Job losses were largest in government (down 5,600), due primarily to fewer hires at public schools at the beginning of the school year.