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Mower County jobless rate drops in October

The jobless rate in Mower County dropped to 5.4 percent in October, down from 5.5 percent in September and 5.5 percent a year ago, according to numbers released Monday by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The county had 1,134 people out of work in October, the lowest number since May.

During the recent recession, the number of jobless in the metropolitan area peaked at 1,594 in March 2009.

In southeastern Minnesota, Olmsted County had the lowest jobless rate, at 5.3 percent. The biggest improvement since a year ago came in Wabasha and Fillmore counties, both down a full percentage point.

The Minnesota jobless rate in October was 6.4 percent, and the national jobless rate was 9 percent.


"Minnesota employers have added jobs at triple the pace of the U.S. rate in the past year, and lead the national rate of growth in eight of 11 industry sectors," said DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy. "I am encouraged by these signs, indicating that Minnesota is recovering from the economic downturn."

The Rochester metropolitan area, consisting of Olmsted, Dodge and Wabasha counties, continues to have the lowest jobless rate of the state's five metropolitan areas, at 5.3 percent

McElroy also noted that employment in the temporary help sector, a leading indicator, continues to grow and has returned to pre-recession levels.

Professional and business services led all sectors in October, adding 6,500 jobs. Other gains occurred in transportation and utilities (up 3,900), other services (up 2,900), leisure and hospitality (up 2,300), education and health services (up 2,000), government (up 500), financial activities (up 300), mining and logging (up 200), and information (up 100).

The construction and manufacturing sectors each lost 2,300 jobs in October.

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