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The number of taconite jobs in 2011 was up nearly 11 percent compared to the year before, according to figures by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Wages in 2011 were also the highest since 2000 -- totaling $357 million. The Iron Range took a major hit during the recession in 2009 when all six of Minnesota's taconite plants temporarily shut down.

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April 19, 2014