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Unemployment rate stays level for 7th month in a row, but more jobs created

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Minnesota got back the jobs it last in January – and then some – last month, but unemployment remains static even though it fell again nationally.

February job figures from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) reveal 11,800 more jobs were added by employers across the state in February, which comes after it lost 7,900 in January.

But the overall unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent for the seventh month in a row. This is still below the national average, with the U.S. unemployment rate falling from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent during February.

DEED says that Minnesota's labor force has topped three million for the first time on record.

The most new jobs were created in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added an extra 5,600 positions, with leisure and hospitality also adding a significant number of new roles with 4,200.

Construction, education and health services, and government jobs also increased.

The areas where the most jobs were lost were manufacturing (down 600) and financial activities (down 300).

Where are jobs being created?

The DEED figures show that jobs in the the Twin Cities metro area rose by 2 percent over the past 12 months, with Mankato seeing a 1.9 percent increase, Rochester 1.2 percent and St. Cloud 1 percent.

The Duluth-Superior area however saw new jobs fall by 0.7 percent over the past year.

This week, the City of Minneapolis has released its latest trend figures, which revealed that during the last three months of 2014, the unemployment rate in the city fell to 3.2 percent, down from 4.3 percent in the same period of 2013.

This was down to a slight rise in the number of people being employed (up 493), but was mostly down to working-age adults moving out of the city (labor force down 1,687).

The unemployment rate in the wider metro area fell to 3.1 percent in the fourth-quarter of 2014, down from 4.1 percent a year earlier.

These figures could rise once the fallout from Target's decision to cut 1,700 Twin Cities positions earlier this month are reflected in future figures.

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