ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s unemployment rate continues to beat the nation by a wide margin.

Job figures released Thursday show the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployed rate held at 3.7 percent in February. That’s compared to a 4.9 percent unemployment rate nationwide.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development said employers added 9,000 jobs in February, boosting the yearly total to more than 42,000. While education, health services and construction added jobs, leisure and hospitality and business service sectors lost workers in February.

Department commissioner Katie Clark Sieben says Minnesota’s labor force participation rate also ticked up to nearly 71 percent.

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