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Minnesota Unemployment Rate Falls Extending 3rd Longest Streak in the Nation

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Only North Dakota and Vermont have gone longer without a jobless rate uptick

The new seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development continue to show the jobs situation improving in the Gopher State while the economic recovery still lags nationwide.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Minnesota fell 0.1 points in April to 6.5 percent, or 2.5 points below the national average of 9.0 percent.

That marks the 23rd consecutive month - dating back to June 2009 - in which the jobless rate has declined or stayed the same in Minnesota - the sixth such longest streak in 35+ years according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics dating back to 1976.

Coming into April, Minnesota had the 3rd longest streak in the nation for consecutive months without seeing an increase in the state's seasonally adjusted rate, behind only North Dakota (April 2009) and Vermont (May 2009) and ahead of Hawaii (July 2009), Nebraska (July 2009), and Kansas (August 2009).

In total, 24 states plus the District of Columbia have enjoyed streaks of 12 or more consecutive months with declining or stabilized unemployment numbers through March.

April data will be released for all 50 states over the coming week.

During this 23-month stretch, the Gopher State has seen its jobless rate decline 23.5 percent, while the national rate has dipped only 5.3 percent (from 9.5 percent in June 2009 to 9.0 percent in April 2011).

The only longer monthly streaks without an uptick in unemployment in Minnesota since 1976 are:

· A 32-month period from April 1993 through November 1996 (falling from 5.1 to 3.7 percent)

· A 30-month streak from January 1986 through June 1988 (falling from 6.1 to 4.3 percent)

· A 29-month period from January 1983 through May 1985 (falling from 9.0 to 5.8 percent)

· A 26-month span from July 2003 through August 2005 (falling from 5.0 to 4.0 percent)

· A 25-month streak from May 1996 through May 1998 (falling from 4.0 to 2.6 percent)

Coming into April, Minnesota had the 11th lowest unemployment rate in the nation, behind three of its Upper Midwestern neighbors: North Dakota (3.6 percent), South Dakota (4.9), and Iowa (6.1) along with Nebraska (4.2), New Hampshire (5.2), Vermont (5.4), Oklahoma (6.1), Wyoming (6.2), Hawaii (6.3), and Virginia (6.3).

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73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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