TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas saw its unemployment rate drop slightly in December to 3.4 percent and reach its lowest point in nearly 18 years.

The state Department of Labor reported Friday that last month's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was lower than both the 3.5 percent reported in November and the 4.3 percent rate in December 2016. The state's unemployment rate has remained below 4 percent since March 2017.

According to department statistics, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last dropped to 3.4 percent in February 2000.

The department also said the number of people working in private-sector, nonfarm jobs also grew by about 8,000 in December from December 2016. The increase was 0.7 percent.

Labor Secretary Lana Gordon said hours worked and real earnings also increased over the years as employers sought workers.