MANKATO — The number of jobs locally jumped nearly 7 percent in July.

The Mankato-North Mankato Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is all of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, added 3,808 jobs in July compared to a year earlier, according to new numbers from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That's a 6.9 percent increase.

Statewide employers added 11,200 jobs in July, according to seasonally adjusted figures from DEED. That's a 3 percent unemployment rate in July, the lowest level since June 2000.

Along with Mankato-North Mankato, the other areas of the state gained jobs over the past 12 months: Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA up 2.2 percent, Duluth-Superior MSA up 1.4 percent, Rochester MSA up 0.3 percent and St. Cloud MSA up 1.9 percent.

Eight of the 11 major industrial sectors added jobs in July, led by education and health services (up 2,900). Other sectors gaining jobs were government (up 2,400), trade, transportation and utilities (up 2,200), manufacturing (up 1,500), professional and business services (up 1,400), construction (up 500), leisure and hospitality (up 400) and information (up 200). Financial activities held steady.

Other services (down 200) and logging and mining (down 100) lost jobs.

“Thanks to the strong economy, businesses throughout the state continue to grow,” said DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy in a statement. “The state’s robust labor market is providing access to job opportunities for an increasing number of Minnesotans, including those who have been on the economic sidelines for far too long.”

The state has added 31,800 jobs over the past three months, which is the third-highest number of new jobs over a three-month span dating back to 1990.

The following industries gained jobs over the past 12 months: leisure and hospitality (up 17,023), education and health services (up 10,836), manufacturing (up 9,441), trade, transportation and utilities (up 7,477), professional and business services (up 5,561), construction (up 5,509), government (up 5,014), information (up 174) and logging and mining (up 21). Other services (down 913) and financial activities (down 212) were the only two sectors that lost jobs in the past year.

The state unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent for four consecutive years; the U.S. unemployment rate in July was 3.9 percent.

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