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Jobs dip slightly in June

Regional employment backed off of record levels in June as the jobless rate in St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties crept up to 3.9 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Though the number of people employed fell slightly last month, more people were looking for work compared to May, signaling confidence in the job market.

Year over year the trend remained positive, since the regional unemployment rate was 4.8 percent last year.

The biggest job gains since June 2017 came from an 8.9 percent rise in state government payrolls, a 5 percent boost in mining, logging and construction and a 2.7 percent growth in manufacturing. Job losses were largely held to information and trade, transportation and utilities.

The region's largest employers, education and health, grew 2.2 percent over the year but shed jobs between May and June.

In Duluth city limits the unemployment rate was 3.3 percent last month, and in Superior it was 4.3 percent, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Iron Range cities held on to historically low jobless rates — 5 percent in Hibbing and 4.5 percent in Virginia — while in Cloquet 4.4 percent of people looking for a job did not have one in June.

Minnesota's unemployment rate was 2.9 percent last month, while Wisconsin's was 3.4 percent. The national average was 3.1 percent.

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