Nebraska’s jobless rate rises again, hitting 2.8 percent

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s unemployment rate inched up another tenth of a point to hit 2.8 percent in August but remained the lowest rate in the country, according to state and national figures released Friday.

The Nebraska Labor Department data showed the preliminary August rate increase matched the July increase. The August figure was four-tenths of a point under the August 2014 rate of 3.2 percent, however.

Nonfarm employment again reached over 1 million, said state Labor Commissioner John Albin, who also pointed to rate declines for the Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas.

The new Nebraska figure remained well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.1 percent in August. U.S. Labor Department figures showed Nebraska was trailed by North Dakota at 2.9 percent and Hawaii at 3.5 percent.

Private industries with the most job growth year over year were education and health services, up 4,475; other services, up 2,121; and leisure and hospitality, up 1,546.

The preliminary Omaha rate dropped two-tenths of a point from July to hit 3 percent in August. The figure was a half point under the 3.5 percent in August 2014. The Lincoln rate also dropped two-tenths of a point, to 2.3 percent. That also was a half point under the August 2014 figure. The Grand Island rate dropped to 4.6 percent last month from 4.9 percent in July. The August 2014 figure was 3.1 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 August, followed by revised figures from July:

-Beatrice: 3.2, 3.5

-Columbus: 2.5, 2.7

-Fremont: 3.2, 3.3

-Hastings: 2.9, 3.2

-Kearney: 2.2, 2.5

-Lexington: 2.7, 3.0

-Norfolk: 2.4, 2.7

-North Platte: 2.5, 2.8

-Red Willow: 2.7, 3.0

-Scottsbluff: 3.1, 3.3

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