Mankato continues to lead the state in job growth. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has released the employment figures for March, and they show a year-over-year increase in the Mankato-North Mankato area of 2.2 percent, or nearly 1,300 jobs.

Minnesota employers added 2,900 jobs in March, and DEED officials say the state’s unemployment rate held steady in March at a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent – nearly a full point lower that the U.S. unemployment rate.

In Mankato and statewide, officials say manufacturing has been one of the state’s key economic drivers so far this year.