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Unemployment rate drops in April in Twin Ports, NE Minnesota

Duluth's unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point in April to 6 percent, down from 7 percent in March, according to state data released today.

The drop in Duluth was part of a seasonal decline seen across the region.

The greater Twin Ports area, which includes all of St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties, saw a slightly bigger decrease, from 7.7 percent in March to 6.5 percent in April,

The decline across Northeastern Minnesota was more dramatic, down from 8.1 percent in March to 6.7 percent in April, the data shows.

Hiring was strong in several industries, though manufacturing and health-care gains were slower than in recent months and hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector remains behind last year, said Drew Digby, regional labor market analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

"One of the main strengths of the job market now is that employers have dramatically reduced the number of people they are laying off," he said. "In April, seasonal layoffs were at their lowest level for an April in 12 years."