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Jobless rate up locally; down statewide

Minnesota employers added 2,000 jobs in November, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development October's job gains were also revised upward to 5,000 from 2,200.

The state unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted 7.4 percent, which was 2.6 percent below the U.S. unemployment rate of 10 percent in November.

Becker County's unemployment rate stands at 7.5 percent, Otter Tail County's is 6.9 percent and Mahnomen County's is at 6.6 percent.

Becker County's rate increased from 6.6 percent in October. Mahnomen County's rate went up from 5.7 percent last month and Otter Tail County's unemployment rate went up from 6.3 percent a month ago.

"State labor markets continue to show signs of improvement," said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. "We are also seeing a steady uptick in the average amount of hours worked, another sign of strengthening market conditions."

The average hours worked by employees has increased from 32.2 hours in September, to 32.6 in October and 33.1 in November.

Trade, transportation and utilities gained the most jobs in November, adding 2,600 positions, with particular strength in the retail sector.

Gains were also seen in professional and business services (up 1,700), construction (up 1,200), manufacturing (up 800), financial activities (up 400), and logging and mining (up 200).

Job losses occurred in government (down 2,400), education and health services (down 1,100), information (down 900), other services (down 400), and leisure and hospitality (down 100).