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Minnesota and South Dakota Unemployment Rates Rise; Wisconsin Remains Flat

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After three consecutive months of a declining percentage of Minnesotans filing unemployment claims, the Gopher State's seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 7.6 percent in October - up from 7.4 percent in September.

Unemployment in Minnesota has increased 35.7 percent from one year ago (5.6 percent) but is currently 2.6 points lower than the national average of 10.2 percent.

The 2.6-point differential is the largest for Minnesota vis-à-vis the national average in more than 17 years (July 1992).

Across the Upper Midwest, the jobless situation continues to be less dire than when compared to the nation as a whole.

The jobless rate did increase 0.2 points in South Dakota as well - from 4.8 percent in September to 5.0 percent in October. Unemployment is up 56.3 percent in South Dakota for the year.

But South Dakota's unemployment rate is now 5.2 points lower than the national average - the largest differential on record according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data going back to January 1976.

In Wisconsin, unemployment remained flat from September to October at 8.4 percent. Unemployment has risen more quickly in Wisconsin than in any other Upper Midwestern state during the past year, where it is has increased 71.4 percent from October 2008 (4.9 percent).

Wisconsin's jobless rate is 1.8 points lower than that of the national average - the largest such difference since December 1996.

Unemployment data for the month of October will be released in Iowa and North Dakota during the next few days.

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When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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