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Jobless rate dips to 5.4%, but Minn. lost 5200 jobs in March

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Minnesota's unemployment rate declined a tenth of a percent in March to a seasonally adjusted 5.4 percent, mostly because more people stopped looking for jobs, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The state's streak of job gains has come to an end as employers shed 5,200 jobs last month. Job growth in February was also revised from 14,500 jobs gained to 9,900 jobs gained.

“After seven straight months of strong job growth in Minnesota, this pause in gains is consistent with the slower job growth rate nationally in March and is due, in part, to weather conditions that are slowing hiring in the state,” Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. “Despite this pause in growth, Minnesota remains near its pre-recessionary peak job numbers and continues to outpace the rest of the country in job growth.”

Trade, transportation and utilities, construction and professional and business services created jobs in March, the Star Tribune reports. Education and health services as well as government, financial services and manufacturing all cut jobs.

Minnesota remains well below the U.S. rate of 7.6 percent.

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