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State jobless rate falls to 5.3 percent

The Minnesota unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 5.3 percent in April, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The agency said the jobless rate fell to its lowest point since May 2008 and remains well below the U.S. rate of 7.5 percent in April.

State employers shed 11,400 jobs in April, while March figures were revised from 5,200 jobs lost to 3,300 jobs lost. Minnesota has gained 24,400 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1 percent, compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent during that period.

"While we've seen mixed results in the labor market in recent months, the overall outlook for jobs in Minnesota remains positive," said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. "Eight of the state's 11 major industrial sectors have gained jobs in the past year, and the unemployment rate is at a five-year low."

Information along with education and health care led all sectors last month, each gaining 600 jobs. Logging and mining held steady.

Job losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (down 5,700), government (down 2,000), leisure and hospitality (down 1,900), manufacturing (down 1,100), other services (down 900), professional and business services (down 500), financial activities (down 400) and construction (down 100).

Over the past year, the following sectors have gained jobs: education and health services (up 10,500), professional and business services (up 8,600), trade, transportation and utilities (up 6,800), information (up 2,200), leisure and hospitality (up 800), financial activities (up 600), other services (up 600), and logging and mining (up 200).

Job losses occurred in the past year in government (down 2,100), construction (down 1,500) and manufacturing (down 200).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, job gains occurred in the past 12 months in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (up 1.5 percent), Rochester MSA (up 0.9 percent), Duluth-Superior MSA (up 0.8 percent), Mankato MSA (up 0.7 percent) and St. Cloud MSA (up 0.2 percent).

DEED is the state's principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

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