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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The latest jobs data from the state shows the labor force in the Rochester area hit a record high last month.

Statistics gathered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development show the size of the labor force grew by more than 1200 from February and exceeded 92,500 for the first time in March. The total of 92,595 is about 120 above the previous record set in July of last year.

Total employment came close to setting a new record in March. It reached 90,467, which is only 54 below the all-time high that was also reached last July at 90,521.

The unemployment rate for the Rochester area fell 3-tenths of a percentage point to 2.3%. A year ago, the unemployment rate for Olmsted County was 2.5%, which preceded the record-setting 1.7% jobless rate recorded in April of last year.

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Every county in the region reported lower unemployment rates in March, but Olmsted and Winona counties were still the only ones to report jobless rates under 3%. Fillmore and Houston counties were tied for having the largest percentage drops with their unemployment rates down 6-tenths of a point. Despite the drop, Fillmore County still has the highest jobless rate in the region at 3.9%.

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