(MANKATO, Minn) - Minnesota just released employment figures for December with Greater Mankato leading the pack for metropolitan areas across the state.
 
Looking back at the last year, the Greater Mankato area has led in job growth and total employment - seeing job figures much higher than other places in Minnesota. Large part is due to the amount of graduates staying in the area. Currently, 20% of grads are sticking around. Minnesota State University-Mankato has shared that half of their graduating classes would like to stay here.
 
"We have several initiatives at Greater Mankato Growth, focused on trying to retain talent and grow that talent pool including our talent council, made up of business leadership from the Greater Mankato area as well as the More Mankato website which is focused on showcasing our unique community amenities in virtual tours," Director of Regional Business Intelligence for Greater Mankato Growth John Considine said.
 
While retail closures have plagued the area recently, other sectors are growing with those taking on new jobs.
 
"We've seen manufacturing grow to some all-time high figures. It actually experienced some of the largest growth in the month of December that it's seen in over 20 years so those sectors are growing. I think it's because of the new access to talent due to other business closures and then I think there are some people that are willing to commute a little farther to southern Minnesota to come work in the Greater Mankato area," Considine added.
 
The influx of those moving to the area is being reflected in real estate, with more activity being reported by realtors and new home purchases being made.

--KEYC News 12.