Nebraska’s April jobless rate of 2.5 pct still lowest in US

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to 2.5 percent in April, remaining the lowest rate in the nation, according to reports issued Wednesday.

The preliminary April rate is nine-tenths of a point under the April 2014 rate of 3.4 percent, the Nebraska Labor Department said. The new figure is also well below April’s preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. U.S. Labor Department figures said Nebraska was trailed by North Dakota at 3.1 percent and Utah at 3.4 percent.

“Employment in Nebraska was very strong in April, with total nonfarm employment exceeding 1 million and both the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas achieving new record highs for nonfarm jobs,” Commissioner of Labor John Albin said.

Nebraska’s total nonfarm employment reached 1,003,662, up 10,888 from March and up 10,276 from April 2014.

Segments with the most growth year over year were education and health services, up 4,964; other services, up 1,758; and financial activities, up 1,640.

Omaha’s preliminary unemployment rate was 2.8 percent last month, down three-tenths of a percent from March’s 3.1 percent and down seven-tenths of a point from the revised April 2014 figure of 3.5 percent. Lincoln’s preliminary April rate was 2.1 percent, compared with a revised figure of 2.3 percent in March and down seven-tenths of a point from the revised April 2014 figure of 2.8 percent.

The preliminary rate for the Grand Island labor market hit 2.6 percent last month, compared with 2.9 percent in March and 3.1 percent in April 2014.

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 April, followed by revised figures from March:

-Beatrice: 3.2, 3.5

-Columbus: 2.3, 2.5

-Fremont: 2.7, 2.9

-Hastings: 2.6, 2.9

-Kearney: 2.0, 2.1

-Lexington: 2.7, 2.9

-Norfolk: 2.2, 2.5

-North Platte: 2.5, 2.7

-Red Willow: 2.2, 2.3

-Scottsbluff: 2.8, 3.2

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