The Madison area’s unemployment rate is the second-lowest in the country, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for March, gathered in a monthly survey of households, shows just 1.7% of the workforce in the Madison metropolitan area is out of work and actively looking. That rate, down from 2.3% a year ago, shows the local economy has continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that cost the state more than 259,000 jobs.

Just three cities saw a lower rate, with Decatur, Alabama; Huntsville, Alabama; and Rapid City, South Dakota, marking 1.6% unemployment. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, tied Madison’s 1.7% rate.

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