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Another hot month for hiring in Northland

Minnesota's highest unemployment rates this summer were recorded up on the Iron Range — but they were a strikingly low 4.9 percent in Hibbing and 3.9 percent in Virginia in August, according to data released last week by the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Across St. Louis, Carlton and Douglas counties, the unemployment rate struck 3.3 percent in August, the lowest rate of the summer and the lowest the jobless rate in the tri-county area since October last year.

Compared to 2017, hiring was up notably in manufacturing; mining, logging and construction; retail; and state government. In total the region's employment grew by 1.7 percent, DEED data shows, adding 2,300 jobs since August last year.

About 1,400 fewer people were in the labor force — working or looking for a job — compared to last year, however.

In Duluth city limits 2.9 percent of residents looking for a job could not find one in August; in Superior the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, according to the Department of Workforce Development. Cloquet had a 3.6 percent jobless rate.

Minnesota's unemployment rate sat at an unadjusted 2.5 percent in August. Wisconsin's rate was 3.1 percent.

Brooks Johnson

Brooks is an investigative/enterprise reporter and business columnist at the Duluth News Tribune.

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