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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State officials say Minnesota’s unemployment rate rose to 8.1% in April.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says 359,800 jobs were shed in the first month since the state implemented its stay-at-home order.

In that period, the unemployment rate rose from 2.9% in March to 8.1% in April.

Meanwhile, nearly 700,000 Minnesotans have applied for jobless benefits since the start of the outbreak. Not all of these people are counted in the unemployment rate, as many are working reduced hours.

The national unemployment rate is 14.7% for April. Wisconsin’s rate is close to that, at 14.1%.

According to DEED, the hardest hit sectors in Minnesota’s economy were hospitality and leisure, retail, and health services.

Earlier this week, Minnesota transitioned from a stay-at-home order to a “Stay Safe” order, under which retail stores were allowed to reopen at reduced capacity. On Wednesday, restaurants and salons were told they could reopen next month, but with significant restrictions.

The stay-at-home order went into effect in late March, shuttering many businesses, particularly bars and restaurants, salons, and gyms.

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