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Politics in brief: Dayton walks back football injury remark; jobs grow in Minnesota

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Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has apologized for comparing athletes' on-field trauma to that suffered by military personnel.

"Some of the psychological dynamics may be similar," Dayton said in a statement released Thursday. "However, I, in no way, meant to compare their challenges with the traumas and hardships experienced by the heroes who fought in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. While I am a football fan, I reserve my highest respect and admiration for those courageous Americans in uniform, who risk their lives to keep us safe and to make the world more free.

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"I regret my mistake, and I apologize for it."

Dayton said he made a "poor analogy" in a Tuesday Minnesota Public Radio interview in which he said players are "heavily armored, heavily psyched to do what they have to do and go out there. It's, basically, slightly civilized war."

In the interview, he said football players "take that into society. Much as soldiers come back, they've been in combat or the edge of it and suddenly that adjustment back to civilian life is a real challenge."

He was commenting on recent news accounts indicating that more Vikings than players on other professional football teams get into legal trouble. The most recent was star running back Adrian Peterson being arrested in a Houston bar.

Minnesota jobs grow

Employers added 7,200 jobs in June, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Ecumenical Development announced Thursday.

At the same time, the percentage of people without work remained at 5.6 percent for the third straight month. The national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent.

The June job gains came after three months that showed jobs were lost in the state. In May, 4,700 jobs were cut.

"The state is outperforming the country in several key sectors, including construction, manufacturing and financial activities," DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips said.

Professional and business services jobs showed the most gain last month, up 5,100. Government increases followed closely at 4,400.

On the other hand, leisure and hospitality jobs fell 2,300 in June.

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Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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