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Minnesota's jobless rate ticks down again in May

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Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent for the month of May, according to statistics released on Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). That represents the lowest jobless level in the state in seven years. The U.S. unemployment rate in May stood at 6.3 percent.

Minnesota employers added 10,300 jobs in May, according state figures. DEED reported that the state has added a total of 45,617 jobs within the past year, which represents a growth rate of 1.6 percent. The U.S. growth rate was 1.8 percent during that same period.

“The long-awaited spring arrival came in May,” Steve Hine, the state’s labor market economist, told the Star Tribune. “It was the best month we’ve had this year.”

Over the past year, construction added the most jobs of any sector and grew at the fastest pace of any industry in the state, adding 9,447 jobs in the last 12 months. That represents a 9.2 percent growth rate, compared with a 3.3 percent growth rate in the U.S. construction industry. Public construction projects and housing construction have both shown significant growth in Minnesota over the past year.

Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 4.7 percent, which showed a slight drop from the previous month; it stood at 4.8 percent in March. As Minnesota unemployment rate has slowly fallen, it has consistently been below the national average. But in April, the growth rate in new jobs was slightly slower than the nation's.

The Associated Press reports the U.S. Labor Department said that nationally, applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 312,000 and the four-week average declined to 311,750. There are now 2.6 million people receiving unemployment benefits, the lowest since October 2007, two months before what's now regarded as the start of the recession.

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