LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate dropped slightly in July to 2.8 percent, compared with 2.9 percent unemployment in June, the state Labor Department said in a report released Friday.

Nebraska's July rate was four-tenths of a point under the year-ago rate of 3.2 percent, the department said. The new rate also remained well below the U.S. rate of 4.3 percent in July.

Nebraska's July unemployment rate for July was the fourth lowest in the nation, behind North Dakota, Colorado and Hawaii.

Nebraska nonfarm employment for July was 1,027,456, up more than 14,000 over the year, but down nearly 10,300 from June, the report said.

Private industries with the most growth year over year were professional and business services, up 5,026 and leisure and hospitality, up 4,365. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in professional and business services, up 903, and leisure and hospitality, up 433.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 3.1 percent — one-tenth of a point lower than in June and five-tenths of a point under the July 2016 rate. Lincoln's preliminary rate also dropped one-tenth of a point, hitting 2.7 percent last month compared with 2.8 percent in June. It was down five-tenths of a point from 3.2 percent a year ago. Grand Island's preliminary rate remained constant at 3 percent. The rate in July 2016 was 3.6 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 July, followed by the revised June rates:

— Beatrice: 3.5, 3.4

— Columbus: 2.9, 3.1

— Fremont: 2.9, 3.0

— Hastings: 3.4, 3.4

— Kearney: 2.6, 2.7

— Lexington: 2.7, 2.8

— Norfolk: 2.8, 2.9

— North Platte: 3.1, 3.1

— Red Willow: 3.0, 2.9

— Scottsbluff: 3.4, 3.4