The U.S. jobless rate is at its lowest point since Oct. 2007, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Labor Department.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Job applications fell 14 percent this year, which means companies are cutting fewer workers. Hiring remains slow on average throughout the country, only tallying small net job gains. On average, U.S. employers have added an average of 192,000 jobs a month this year.
The U.S. unemployment rate now sits at 7.4 percent -- a four and a half year low. In a "normal" economy, the jobless rate revolves around 5 to 6 percent, the Labor Department said.
By comparison, Minnesota's July unemployment rate was 5.2 percent and has held steady since last month after dipping a tenth of a percent in May, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The state has gained 71,500 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 2.6 percent, compared with a U.S. growth rate of 1.7 percent.