Duluth's unemployment rate drops to lowest level since 2007

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State officials say Duluth's unemployment rate continued to drop last month, marking the lowest jobless figures since 2007, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

According to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the unemployment rate in Duluth in November was 4.6 percent, down from October's rate of 4.7 percent.

The rest of the region didn't fare as well, DEED says.

The jobless rate in northeastern Minnesota increased from 5.3 percent in October to 5.8 percent in November. The number, however, was down from 6.3 percent unemployment in the region a year ago.

In addition, unemployment in the Greater Twin Ports area, including all of St. Louis, Douglas and Carlton counties, was up to 5.4 percent from 5.2 percent in October.

Unemployment numbers are better across southern Minnesota, reports the Owatonna People's Press.

The Press says unemployment in Owatonna in November dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest since November 2007.

The paper also says unemployment numbers dropped in Nicollet, Steele, Rice and Mower counties, and held steady in Dodge County.

DEED said unemployment numbers were up in Freeborn, Waseca and Le Sueur counties.

Statewide, Minnesota's unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November. The nationwide unemployment rate is 7 percent.

According to MinnPost, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said the state's economy "is growing and outperforming the rest of the country in many key categories."

"The labor market continues to show steady improvement, with the number of unemployed Minnesotans now below pre-recessionary level," she said.

Meanwhile, extended unemployment benefits came to an end Saturday for more than 1 million Americans.

MPR News says about 8,500 Minnesotans had their unemployment benefits expire.

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