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Minnesota unemployment rate below national average

The Minnesota unemployment rate remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 7.4 percent in December, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The state jobless rate was 2.6 percent below the U.S. unemployment rate, which also held steady in December at 10 percent.

Minnesota employers trimmed 4,100 jobs in December. Over the year, Minnesota and the nation have both lost 3 percent of their jobs.

"December's results are consistent with the ebb and flow of a recovering economy. We expected the pace of recovery would be slow, although generally the Minnesota economy is on the mend and should continue to improve in the coming months," DEED Commissioner Dan McElroy said.

Five sectors added jobs in December, led by professional and business services, which grew by 3,900 positions. Other job gains occurred in manufacturing (up 1,000), information (up 300), government (up 300), and logging and mining (up 100).

Job losses occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (down 3,800), construction (down 1,700), financial activities (down 1,700), leisure and hospitality (down 1,300), education and health care (down 900), and other services (down 300).

Over the past year, education and health services has added 4,800 jobs.

Year-over-year job losses occurred in manufacturing (down 33,100), trade, transportation and utilities (down 17,700), professional and business services (down 8,700), construction (down 7,800), leisure and hospitality (down 4,900), government (down 4,100), other services (down 4,000), information (down 2,500), financial activities (down 1,800), and logging and mining (down 1,000).

In the state Metropolitan Statistical Areas, over-the-year job losses occurred in the Duluth-Superior MSA (down 3.4 percent), St. Cloud MSA (down 3.1 percent), Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (down 2.7 percent) and Rochester MSA (down 0.5 percent).

More details on the December unemployment numbers are available at