DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 years.

Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday the unemployment rate for October fell to 3 percent, down from the September rate of 3.2 percent. The unemployment rate is the lowest since January 2001.

The rate drop reflected a decline in the number of unemployed Iowans to about 51,000 in October. The number of working residents rose to 1.635 million.

The national employment rate in October was 4.1 percent.

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