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Published October 23 2010

North Dakota jobless rate still lowest in nation

Unemployment rates held steady across the board in September – good news for North Dakota, which again posted the lowest rate in the nation, but bad news for regions struggling to put people back to work.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. South Dakota again posted the second-lowest rate in the country at 4.4 percent. Minnesota’s jobless rate was 7 percent for the second consecutive month.

The highest unemployment rate in the nation again belonged to Nevada at 14.4 percent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate remained stuck on 9.6 percent. That’s the same as it was in August, and little different than the situation a year ago, when the jobless rate was 9.8 percent.

Payroll counts declined in 36 states in September. But North Dakota added about 6,600 jobs last month. The addition of about 8,800 jobs in government offset losses in construction, wholesale and hospitality services.

The Fargo area added about 2,800 jobs in the month, on the strength of the addition of about 2,000 jobs in government.