ST. PAUL (AP) - Governor Mark Dayton and legislative Democrats want to give Minnesota businesses a $3,000 tax credit for each unemployed person, veteran or recent college graduate that they hire as a way to push down the state's unemployment rate.

Dayton made the proposal Wednesday as the centerpiece of a jobs package. He and DFL lawmakers say boosting job creation is their top goal in the legislative session that starts Jan. 24.

Dayton says it would cost $35 million to provide the tax credit, and estimates it would create more than 10,000 private-sector jobs. He says the state could fund it by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Republican Sen. Geoff Michel, chairman of the Jobs and Economic Development Committee, says he welcomes Dayton's emphasis on jobs.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)