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Northeastern Minnesota unemployment rate drops in April

The unemployment rate dropped moderately throughout Northeastern Minnesota last month, from 8.7 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April.

April typically shows jobless declines, but this year's drop was weaker than in 2010 when job gains were stronger, noted Drew Digby, regional analyst for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

In Duluth, the jobless rate fell to 7.1 percent from 7.5 percent as the city gained 90 jobs and fewer people were looking for work.

The larger Twin Ports area that includes all of St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties also was 7.5 percent, down from 8.1 percent in March.

In Cloquet, the unemployment rage dropped from 10.2 percent in March to 9.5 percent in April while Virginia saw a slight drop, from 10 percent to 9.7 percent.

More dramatic drops occurred in Grand Rapids, where unemployment fell from 14 percent to 12.3 percent and in Hibbing, where the jobless rate dropped from 9.1 percent to 7.8 percent.