The number of people out of work in the St. Cloud metro area went down last month. The Department of Employment and Economic Development says our unemployment rate is now at 6.3% -- down from 6.7% in April.
Minnesota's factory exports rose more than 17 percent last year, fueled by strong sales to Asia and Canada. State economic officials say Minnesota shipped $17 billion worth of manufactured goods, making 2010 the second-highest annual total on record.
The unemployment rate for the St. Cloud metro area stayed the same in February. The latest numbers released today (Friday) from the Minnesota Department Employment and Economic Development have our unemployment rate at 7.7% -- same as in January.
Economists are encouraged by Minnesota's strong showing in the export market during the final quarter of 2010. Manufacturing exports hit a record quarterly high of $4.6 billion in the final three months of the year.
Minnesota releases preliminary jobless figures for January on Wednesday, and they may show an improvement from the 7 percent reported a month ago. A labor analyst says January is typically a low employment month, but the new numbers may need to be viewed with caution because it's becoming harde…