The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development released the February 2018 employment figures today (Thu) and the numbers show the Mankato – North Mankato area saw a gain of 1,641 jobs or 2.9% over February of last year.

The region led all metro areas in the state for the second straight month.

Manufacturing had the highest rate of growth with 4.3% in February, and that’s the highest it’s been since 2013.

The growth in the Good Producing sector began to take off in March of 2017 and continued throughout the year, and President & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth Jonathan Zierdt said that demonstrates the regional economy’s efficiency even during a national labor shortage.

Zierdt added, though, that the organization continues to hear from businesses that they need more employees to continue to fuel that growth.