Nebraska jobless rate at 2.8 percent for fourth consecutive month

LINCOLN (AP) — Nebraska’s preliminary November unemployment rate of 2.8 percent matched the three previous months’ figures, according to figures released Friday by the Nebraska Labor Department.

The department said in a news release that the rate is down a tenth of a point from the year-ago figure of 2.9 percent. Last month’s Nebraska rate was well below the U.S. number, which also was unchanged: 3.7 percent.

“November was another strong month for manufacturing, with a 3 percent employment increase over the year,” said state Labor Commissioner John Albin. “The month also saw historical highs for both statewide labor force employment and Lincoln labor force employment.”

Nonfarm employment was 1,039,938, up 12,753 over the year and up 2,263 over the month, the report said. Private industries with the most growth year over year were professional and business services, up 4,881; leisure and hospitality services, up 3,546; and manufacturing, up 3,028. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in trade, transportation and utilities, up 4,024; education and health, up 468; and other services, up 26.

Also, new reports say Iowa and Hawaii tied for the nation’s lowest preliminary unemployment rate in November: 2.4 percent. Iowa Workforce Development released the state figure Friday, saying it matched Iowa’s October number and was a half a point lower than the 2.9 percent of November 2017. The department says there were an estimated 40,600 unemployed Iowa residents in November, and 1,648,900 people held jobs.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate for November declined to 2.5 percent from 2.6 in October. The new rate was a tenth of a point lower than the 2.6 percent of November 2017. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped three-tenths of a point, hitting 2.2 percent, compared with 2.5 percent in October. The year-ago figure was 2.3 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate for November was 2.6 percent, down a tenth from October’s 2.7 percent. The November 2017 figure was 2.7 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 October rates:

» Beatrice: 2.4, 4.1

» Columbus: 2.3, 2.5

» Fremont: 2.2, 2.5

» Hastings: 2.4, 2.7

» Kearney: 2.0, 2.2

» Lexington: 2.3, 2.5

» Norfolk: 2.0, 2.3

» North Platte: 2.5, 2.8

» Red Willow: 1.9, 2.5