ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota's unemployment rate has dropped below 5 percent for the first time in nearly six years as the state climbs further out of the deep hole caused by the Great Recession.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development reports Thursday that October's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. That's the same as it was in December 2007, which is generally considered to be the month that the long recession started.

The state released figures for both September and October. The September figures had been delayed by the federal government shutdown. Unemployment fell from 5.1 percent in August to 5 percent in September to 4.8 percent in October.

The department reports that Minnesota employers added 9,900 jobs in October, for a total of nearly 50,000 jobs added in the past year.