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Unemployment rate falls across southern Minnesota

Monday, September 30, 2013

Article by Owatonna People's Press

The job picture across southern Minnesota continued to show improvement in August as unemployment rates dropped across the region, according to data released Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Steele County saw its unemployment rate fall to 4.4 percent in August, the lowest the rate has been since October of 2008 when it was also at 4.4 percent. The county’s rate also fell to 4.4 percent in November of 2012.

According to DEED figures, it was the fourth-straight month that Steele County has had an unemployment rate below 5 percent. Owatonna, the county’s largest city, also saw a decline in its unemployment rate. Owatonna went from 5 percent in July to 4.7 percent in August.

Figures show that Owatonna has nearly 350 more people employed as compared to August of last year, when the unemployment rate actually climbed from its level in July.

The progress made in Steele County and southern Minnesota was mirrored across the entire state. According to DEED, Minnesota employers added 12,200 jobs in August, which brings the state job total back to pre-recession levels.

The state unemployment level dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.1 percent, the lowest unemployment rate in Minnesota since April of 2008.

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