Nebraska jobless rate dropped to 2.8 percent in August

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to hit 2.8 percent in August, the state said in a report released Friday.

Last month’s rate remained well below the U.S. figure, which remained steady at 3.9 percent. The Nebraska Labor Department report said the state’s rate was down from 2.9 percent a year ago.

“Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted employment reached another record high this month,” state Labor Commissioner John Albin said. “The nonseasonally adjusted employment level for the Lincoln metro area is the highest since 1990, when data (were) first collected for the metro area.”

Nonfarm employment was 1,032,536, up 15,402 over the year and down 264 over the month, the report said. Private industries with the most growth year over year were manufacturing, up 4,649; leisure and hospitality, up 4,156; and education and health services, up 3,552. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in leisure and hospitality, up 1,318; education and health services, up 690; and manufacturing, up 145.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate declined to 2.7 percent from 3.1 percent in July. The new rate was three-tenths of a point lower than the 3 percent of August 2017. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped two-tenths of a point in August, hitting 2.6 percent, compared with to 2.8 percent in July. The year-ago figure was 2.7 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate for August was 2.8 percent, down three-tenths of a point from July’s 3.1 percent and down a tenth the 2.9 percent recorded in August 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 August, followed by the July rates:

— Beatrice: 2.9, 3.4

— Columbus: 2.6, 2.9

— Fremont: 2.7, 3.0

— Hastings: 2.9, 3.2

— Kearney: 2.4, 2.6

— Lexington: 2.5, 2.9

— Norfolk: 2.4, 2.8

— North Platte: 2.8, 3.2

— Red Willow: 2.8, 3.2

— Scottsbluff: 3.1, 3.5