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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota's unemployment rate is now down over 50-percent from the peak reached in May but most of the improvement last month was due to people giving up on looking for work.

The latest jobs report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development put the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate for October at 4.6-percent. That's down from 5.9-percent in September and the pandemic peak of 9.9-percent in May.

“COVID has brought unprecedented challenges to Minnesotans and our businesses. Just yesterday we had to take action to slow the spread of the virus because the health and well-being of Minnesotans and our state’s economy depend on it,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Despite these challenges, companies in many fields are hiring. DEED will continue to help job seekers in their career journey, and our CareerForce job counselors are available right now to help job seekers look for work.”

The jobs report shows most of the drop in the unemployment rate can be traced to the continued slide in the state's workforce participation rate. It declined almost a full percentage point last month to 67.4-percent. The rate prior to the start of the pandemic was 70.2-percent.

The report shows Minnesota had a net gain of over 13,000 jobs in October, but the employment total is still down by almost 188,000 jobs when compared to October of last year.

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