St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Minnesota’s job growth rate continues to lag behind the national average, but the state’s unemployment rate last month was the lowest rate reported in nearly 18-years.

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell a tenth of a point to 3.1-percent in May. State officials say it hasn’t been that low since July 2000. A year ago, the state’s unemployment rate was 3.5-percent.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the state experienced a net gain of just over 10,000 jobs last month. Over the past year, Minnesota has gained a little over 29,000 jobs for a growth rate of 1-percent, while the national job growth rate during the same period was 1.7-percent.

The strongest annual job growth rate in Minnesota was in the Mankato area at 2.2-percent, followed by St. Cloud at 1.6-percent. Rochester had the weakest rate at minus 7/10th of a percent, which works out to a net loss of nearly 900 jobs during the past 12-months.

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