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Unemployment hits 4 percent in Minnesota, as state loses net of 3,900 jobs

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Unemployment in Minnesota rose to 4 percent in July, a month in which employers eliminated a net of 3,900 jobs.

Figures from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) show the unemployment rate in the state rose 0.1 percent, up from 3.9 percent last month.

At 4 percent, unemployment is at its highest seasonally-adjusted level in Minnesota since May 2014, according to these DEED statistics, but is still well below the U.S. rate of 5.3 percent.

But despite the net loss of 3,900 jobs last month, revised figures for June found an extra 2,700 jobs were created that month than previously thought – bringing the total jobs created for June to 5,600.

Overall this year, Minnesota has gained 43,719 jobs – a 1.5 percent rise.

Leisure and construction jobs down, mining up

Given the downturn affecting Minnesota's mining industry in the Iron Range this year, there appears to have been some welcome relief in July as the state's logging and mining sector added 300 jobs.

Overall though the situation remains grim this year, with the two industries having lost a net of 893 positions in the past year.

Hundreds of mining employees have also been hit by temporary layoffs as companies idled plants in response to low prices, but there is hope on the horizon. At least 400 workers are expected to return to the U.S. Steel Minntac plant next month.

It was the leisure and hospitality sector in Minnesota that suffered the most in July, shedding 3,700 jobs, while construction was down 2,000 and trade, transportation and utilities down 1,700.

As well as mining, other sectors gaining jobs include Government with 2,700, professional and business services with 1,400, and financial activities with 500.

Over the past 12 months, the Minneapolis-St Paul region gained the most jobs of any metro area, up 2.1 percent, with Duluth Superior jobs rising 1.3 percent and Mankato 1 percent.

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