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Record number of people employed last month in Nebraska

December 22, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A record number of people were employed in Nebraska last month, the state Labor Department said in a report issued Friday.

“Nebraska’s employment in November was 984,197, a new all-time high,” said Labor Commissioner John Albin. “Employment has increased each of the (past) six months and has hit new historical high levels each month since August 2017.”

The November unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.7 percent, matching the October figure. The rate was down six-tenths of a percentage point from the November 2016 rate of 3.3 percent. The November rate also remained well below the U.S. rate, which was unchanged at 4.1 percent.

Only Hawaii, at 2 percent, and North Dakota, at 2.6 percent, had lower unemployment rates than Nebraska last month, federal authorities said.

Nebraska’s nonfarm employment was 1,038,603, up 8,206 over the year and up 1,847 over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were professional and business services, up 3,439; leisure and hospitality, up 3,316; and other services, up 1,665. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in trade, transportation and utilities, up 2,484; manufacturing, up 1,001; and other services, up 79.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate rose to 2.5 percent last month from 2.4 percent in October. The new figure was four-tenths of a point lower than the revised November 2016 rate of 2.9 percent. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped a tenth of a point, hitting 2.1 percent last month, compared with the revised rate of 2.2 percent in October. The November 2016 figure was 2.4 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate rose a tenth of a point to 2.5 percent in November. The November 2016 rate: 2.9 percent.

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 November, followed by the revised October rates:

— Beatrice: 2.6, 2.6

— Columbus: 2.3, 2.3

— Fremont: 2.3, 2.3

— Hastings: 2.5, 2.3

— Kearney: 1.9, 1.9

— Lexington: 2.5, 2.4

— Norfolk: 2.2, 2.2

— North Platte: 2.5, 2.4

— Red Willow: 2.1, 2.2

— Scottsbluff: 3.0, 2.7

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