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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Seasonal factors helped drop total employment in the Rochester area below the 90,000 level last month for the first time in eight months.

The latest jobs data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows the overall number of jobs in Olmsted County dipped to about 89,750 in October. That was down about 500 from September and about 1500 when compared to July when employment peaked at a record high of more than 91,200 jobs.

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Despite the job losses, the unemployment rate for the Rochester area fell a tenth of a point last month to 1.4%. That's the lowest the Olmsted County jobless rate has been since June and is more than a half-percentage point below the rate from October of last year.

Nearly every county in the region reported lower unemployment rates in October. The lone exception was Mower County, where the jobless rate was steady at 1.7%. The lowest unemployment rate in the southeastern corner of the state was found in Dodge County at 1.3%. Freeborn County had the highest rate at 1.8%.

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