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State adds 6K jobs in Sept.; unemployment rate down

ST. PAUL — Minnesota employers added 6,400 jobs in September, lowering the state's unemployment rate to 3.7 percent.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points from the month before. Minnesota's rate remains well below the national 4.2 percent unemployment rate for the month, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

"Minnesota's job expansion is now eight years strong, with the state adding more than 337,000 jobs since September 2009," DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said. "During that period, the overall unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to the current low of 3.7 percent. Minnesota's economy is headed in the right direction."

The latest figures also show drops in the unemployment rates in Minnesota's black and Hispanic communities, though an increase among teenagers.

According to DEED, Minnesota's overall workforce grew to 2,955,300 jobs in September.

Other details in the state report show that Minnesota's teenage unemployment rate in September was 12.6 percent, the same as in August but a big increase from September 2016, when it was 7.8 percent. That increase coincides with an increase in the state minimum wage to $9.50 an hour, $7.75 for those under the age of 18, according to the report.

The reasoning could be that employers are more reluctant to hire, but the state noted that more teens have also joined the work force, perhaps because of the higher wages, the report states.

The unemployment rates of black and Hispanics both fell in September, but both remain well above the rates of white Minnesotans.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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