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The unemployment rate in Lancaster County plunged to 3.0 percent in May, the lowest here in 17 years, the state said Tuesday.

By tumbling from April’s 3.4 percent, the rate in Lancaster County was second best among the rates of Pennsylvania’s 18 metropolitan areas.

Gettysburg’s rate was the lowest among the metro rates, at 2.9 percent. East Stroudsburg was the highest, at 4.9 percent.

With the May figure, the Lancaster County jobless rate has dropped a full percentage point over the prior year.

The rate tumbled because the county had 3,000 fewer residents who were unemployed — defined as lacking jobs but actively seeking work.

Some 270,400 Lancaster County residents were employed last month, according to the state Department of Labor & Industry report.

Pushing the rate lower over that year was growth in several key sectors of the Lancaster County economy, the report shows.

The health care and social assistance sector had the largest upturn. It grew by 1,400 jobs to a total of 39,900 jobs.

This sector includes employees of hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, child day-care centers and home health-care providers, among other workplaces.

The sector of construction, mining and logging added 800 jobs over that time to hit 17,900 jobs. The manufacturing sector likewise added 800 jobs, to reach 37,600.

The warehousing, utilities and transportation sector grew by 500 jobs, to 13,500 jobs.