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State jobless rate drops to 2.8 percent in September

ST. PAUL—Minnesota lost 1,400 jobs in September, yet the state's unemployment rate fell to 2.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate is the lowest it has been since May of 1999, according to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. The all-time low is 2.5 percent and that was recorded in January and February of 1999.

So how can both drop at the same time? The number of unemployed fell at a higher rate than the number of those with jobs fell. The state's overall labor force participation — those working and those looking for work — fell by about 6,625 people.

"While job declines are disappointing, they are to some extent a consequence of earlier economic strength," DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement. "This summer we saw large job gains, particularly in leisure and hospitality. These industries tend to eliminate some of those jobs at the end of the busy summer travel season."

Despite the loss of 1,400 jobs in September, Minnesota has added 37,339 jobs the past 12 months, according to the state agency. That 1.3 percent growth rate, though, lags the overall national rate of 1.9 percent during that time.

Minnesota's unemployment rate continues to be lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent.

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