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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The unemployment rate for the Rochester area continued to drop last month but it remained the highest in southeastern Minnesota.

The latest jobs report from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development shows the jobless rate for Olmsted County dropped from seven-percent in July to 6.2-percent in August.

The rate has now fallen over 3 1/2 percentage points since it peaked at 9.8-percent in May as hundreds of thousands of Minnesota workers filed for unemployment benefits due to the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic. By comparison, the jobless rate for Olmsted County in August of last year was only 2.5-percent.  Although the economy has partially recovered, total employment in the Rochester area is still down by about 8,300 jobs from a year ago.

Across southeastern Minnesota, every County reported lower unemployment rates in August. Olmsted County was tied with Dodge County for the largest percentage point drop at 8-tenths of a point, while Houston County had the lowest jobless rate at 4.1-percent.

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