Nebraska jobless mark of 3.1% unchanged for 3rd month

LINCOLN – Nebraska’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.1% again in September, matching the August and July figures, the state said Friday.

The preliminary September rate was four-tenths of a point higher than the adjusted September 2018 rate of 2.7%, the Nebraska Labor Department said in a news release.

The new Nebraska rate is well below September’s national preliminary rate of 3.5%, which is down two-tenths of a point from the August 2019 rate of 3.7%, which also was the September 2018 rate.

“Statewide, the labor force and employment levels were record highs again,” said Labor Commissioner John Albin. “Over the month, the largest gains were in local government due to the start of the school year.”

Nonfarm employment was 1,034,541 in September, which was 8,410 more workers than September 2018 and 1,190 more than this August. Private industries with the most growth year over year were mining and construction, up 3,055; professional and business services, up 1,474; and education and health, up 1,118. Month to month, the largest gain was seen in education and health, which was up 315.

The preliminary Omaha-area unemployment rate for September fell to 2.8%, which is two-tenths of a percent lower than August’s 3%, the report said. The September 2018 figure was 2.6%. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped two-tenths to hit 2.7%, compared with 2.9% in August. The figure in September 2018 was 2.3%. Grand Island’s preliminary rate also dropped two-tenths of a point. It hit 2.9%, compared with 3.1% in August. The year-ago September figure was 2.5%.

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 September, followed by the August rates:

— Beatrice: 3.0, 3.3

— Columbus: 2.8, 3.0

— Fremont: 2.6, 2.9

— Hastings: 2.9, 3.0

— Kearney: 2.5, 2.8

— Lexington: 2.8, 2.9

— Norfolk: 2.5, 2.7

— North Platte: 3.4, 3.5

— Red Willow: 2.8, 3.0

— Scottsbluff: 3.3, 3.6

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