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Northland’s unemployment rate in May lowest since 2007

Unemployment rates continued their months-long drop in much of Northeastern Minnesota in May, in some cases reaching the lowest May levels in seven years.

Duluth’s jobless rate dipped to 5 percent, while the greater Twin Ports area — all of St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties — reached 5.5 percent. They’re levels not seen in May since 2007, according to the most recent Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development data.

Meanwhile, the jobless rate in all of Northeastern Minnesota dropped from 6.3 percent in April to 5.8 percent in May as the labor force and number of jobs grew while fewer people collected unemployment.

The drops in unemployment rates are common in the first five months of the year. But the year-over-year improvements being seen are further evidence of an improving economy, experts say.

Unemployment rates in the region, however, typically increase in June as jobs temporarily lost during summer school breaks affect the numbers.