State: Nebraska jobless rate steady at 2.9 percent in July

August 17, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate in July matched the year-ago figure and June’s rate of 2.9 percent, the state Labor Department said Friday.

“The unemployment rate has remained under 3 percent for 16 consecutive months,” state Labor Commissioner John Albin said in a news release. The rate has been among the 10 or so lowest among U.S. states over the same period.

Last month’s rate also was well below the national rate, which dropped to 3.9 percent in July from 4 percent in June.

Nonfarm employment was 1,033,228 in July, up 1.9 percent over the year and down eight-tenths of a point over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were manufacturing, up 4,791; leisure and hospitality, up 4,160; and professional and business services, up 4,038. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in professional and business services, up 986; education and health services, up 831; and manufacturing, up 624.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate remained 3.1 percent in July, matching the June figure and up three-tenths of a point from 2.8 percent in May. The new rate was two-tenths of a point lower than the 3.3 percent of July 2017. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped a tenth of a point in July, to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in June. The year-ago figure was 2.9 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate for July was 3.1 percent, matching the June rate and that of July 2017.

The unemployment rates for Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha have not been seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared with the state unemployment rate.

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for July, followed by the June rates:

— Beatrice: 3.4, 3.4

— Columbus: 2.9, 3.0

— Fremont: 3.0, 3.1

— Hastings: 3.2, 3.3

— Kearney: 2.6, 2.7

— Lexington: 2.9, 2.9

— Norfolk: 2.8, 2.9

— North Platte: 3.2, 3.3

— Red Willow: 3.2, 3.1

— Scottsbluff: 3.6, 3.5

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