Nebraska jobless rate 2.8 percent for 5th month in a row

Published 01-18-2019

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska's unemployment rate remained at 2.8 percent in December, the fifth month in a row at that level, the state Labor Department said in a report Friday.

It's unclear whether the consistent unemployment rate has any deeper economic meaning than merely reflecting the math involved. Department spokeswoman Grace Johnson said she couldn't immediately comment.

Last month's Nebraska rate was well below the national preliminary December unemployment figure of 3.9 percent - a rise of two-tenths of a point from November. It was also down a tenth of a point from the December 2017 rate in Nebraska of 2.9 percent, the report said.

Nonfarm employment in December was at 1,037,475 - up 12,525 over the year and down 3,740 over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were professional and business services, up 4,080; manufacturing, up 3,396; and leisure and hospitality, up 3,207. Month to month the largest gains were seen in financial activities, up 900; other services, up 148; and information, up 23.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate for December rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent in November. The new rate was a tenth of a point lower than the 2.8 percent of December 2017. Lincoln's preliminary rate rose a tenth to hit 2.3 percent, compared with 2.2 percent in November. The year-ago figure was 2.5 percent. Grand Island's preliminary rate for December was 2.8 percent, up two-tenths of a point from November's 2.6 percent. The December 2017 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 December, followed by the November rates:

- Beatrice: 2.9, 2.3

- Columbus: 2.4, 2.3

- Fremont: 2.5, 2.2

- Hastings: 2.7, 2.4

- Kearney: 2.3, 2.0

- Lexington: 2.9, 2.3

- Norfolk: 2.3, 2.0

- North Platte: 2.8, 2.5

- Red Willow: 2.2, 1.9

- Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.0

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for December, followed by the November rates:

- Beatrice: 2.9, 2.3

- Columbus: 2.4, 2.3

- Fremont: 2.5, 2.2

- Hastings: 2.7, 2.4

- Kearney: 2.3, 2.0

- Lexington: 2.9, 2.3

- Norfolk: 2.3, 2.0

- North Platte: 2.8, 2.5

- Red Willow: 2.2, 1.9

- Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.0

- Columbus: 2.4, 2.3

- Fremont: 2.5, 2.2

- Hastings: 2.7, 2.4

- Kearney: 2.3, 2.0

- Lexington: 2.9, 2.3

- Norfolk: 2.3, 2.0

- North Platte: 2.8, 2.5

- Red Willow: 2.2, 1.9

- Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.0

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