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A great place to live, work

Employees and employers should feel a bit more upbeat this Labor Day than in recent years.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 7.4 percent. Contrast that with two years ago: 9.1 percent of the workforce had no work.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 14 million eligible workers needed a job. Six million of those – the long-term unemployed – had been jobless for more than six months and make up 43 percent of the overall unemployed.

The Midwest fared better than the rest of the nation back then and the same can be said now. Minnesota had a 7.2 percent jobless rate two years ago — essentially what the nation averages today.

And today the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 5.2 percent. Wisconsin’s is 6.8 percent. Both numbers have dipped .3 percent since February.

Minnesota and Wisconsin historically have attracted businesses because of our quality workforce who contribute to our high quality of life.

Government, employers and employees should commit this Labor Day to doing all they can to ensure this continues.