Homebuilding activity continues to rebound in the south metro area, with just one of nine Dakota County communities tracked by a local builders' organization reporting fewer housing permits than last year.

Lakeville continues as the busiest homebuilding market in the county and one of the metro area's most active, according to figures from The Builders Association of the Twin Cities. The city has recorded 172 permits through the end of June, up from 107 for the same period a year ago.

Other area communities reporting gains for the first six months of this year include Apple Valley, with 29 permits; Burnsville, with four; Eagan, with 59; Farmington, with 57; Inver Grove Heights, with 28, Mendota Heights, with 2, and Rosemount, with 36.

Hastings reported 10 permits through the end of June, down from 15 for the same period last year.

Job fair in Eagan

More than 60 Twin Cities employers with job openings are scheduled to attend a career and jobs fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the Eagan Community Center. The event is free and open to the public and is being hosted by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

There's a wide range of area companies scheduled to be at the fair, including Ameriprise Financial, Buffalo Wild Wings, Frontier Communications, SanMar, Sun Country Airlines and Thomson Reuters. Employment assistance organizations and a variety of educational institutions also will be there to answer questions and offer advice.

The fair will include breakout sessions focusing on tips for job seekers, including effective resume writing. The Better Business Bureau and Minnesota Department of Military Affairs will also be on hand offering workshops to help veterans find employment.

For information, visit Kline's website at http://kline.house.gov or e-mail Sally Bryant in Kline's Burnsville office at Sally.Bryant@mail.house.gov.

Apparel shop opens in Apple Valley

Maurices, a Duluth-based women's apparel chain, recently opened a new store in Fischer Marketplace in Apple Valley.

The 234,000-square-foot mall is city's newest community shopping center, with major tenants that include Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael's and Barnes & Noble.

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq represented mall owner Principal Life Insurance Co. in lease negotiations for the new 5,000-square-foot store.

Founded in 1931, Maurices now has more than 880 stores in 44 states, including about 15 in the Twin Cities. In addition to Apple Valley, the retailer also has shops in Burnsville and Hastings.

Send your Dakota County business news to susan.feyder@startribune.com.