UNDATED -- Minnesota's unemployment rate dropped to 7.4% in August, down from 7.6% in July.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.4% for August.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state added 40,500 jobs in August. The most gains were in government with 11,000 jobs added, due to census hiring and local government. Leisure and hospitality was next with 7,800 followed by education and health services with 7,100.

There were 231,599 unemployed workers in Minnesota last month, down 4,948 from July and down 71,367 since May when the number peaked at 302,966.

DEED says Minnesota's labor force participation rate increased to 69.8% in August, closing in on 70.2% where it stood in February.  The national labor force participation rate was 61.7% in August.

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