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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The unemployment rate for the Rochester area rose slightly last month even though total employment and the size of the labor force hit new record highs.

The latest jobs data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development indicates the jobless rate in Olmsted County increased a tenth of a percentage point to 2.2% from February to March. A year ago, the unemployment rate locally was 3.6% and last month's rate was a half of a percentage point lower than the 2.7% unemployment rate from March 2020 at the very start of the pandemic.

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The statistics also show total employment in Olmsted County climbed to a new all-time high of more than 90,400 and March and the local labor force also pushed higher into record territory at just over 92,435 workers.

Olmsted County's jobless rate last month was tied with Winona County for being the lowest in the region. Dodge County reported the highest unemployment rate among the counties in the southeast corner of the state at 3.1%.

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