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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Seasonal factors likely contributed to a rise in unemployment in Rochester and throughout the region last month but the COVID-19 restrictions on bars, restaurants, and a number of other businesses also likely had a role.

The unemployment rate for Olmsted County rose four-tenths of a point from November to 3.8 percent. It marked the first time the jobless rate for the Rochester area has gone up since it peaked at 9.8 percent last May. A year ago, the unemployment rate for December in Olmsted County was just 2.6 percent.

Every county in the southeastern corner of the state also experienced an increase in unemployment in December. Goodhue, Wabasha, and Dodge Counties were tied for having the highest jobless rate in the region at 4.1 percent. The biggest increase was reported by Fillmore County, where the unemployment rate jumped almost a full percentage point to 3.9 percent. The lowest rate was found in Houston County at 3.2 percent.

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