Nebraska jobless rate held steady at 3.1% in August

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's unemployment remained steady at 3.1% in August, matching the July figure, according to a state report issued Friday.

The preliminary August rate was four-tenths of a percentage point higher than the adjusted August 2018 rate of 2.7%, the Nebraska Labor Department said.

The new Nebraska rate is well below August's national preliminary rate of 3.7%, which is unchanged from the July and June rate.

"The number of people employed in the state reached a record level for the eighth straight month," said Labor Commissioner John Albin. "This number has topped 1 million since March."

Nonfarm employment last month was up by nearly 8,800 workers over the year-ago figure and up by more than 1,200 over the July figure, the report said.

The private industries with the most growth year over year were mining and construction, up 2,655; professional and business services, up 2,461; and education and health, up 1,629. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in education and health, up 1,238; mining and construction, up 917; and professional and business services, up 86.

The preliminary Omaha-area unemployment rate for August fell to 3%, which is two-tenths lower than July's 3.2%, the report said. The August 2018 figure was 2.7%. Lincoln's preliminary rate dropped a tenth of a point to hit 2.9%, compared with 3% in July. The figure in August 2018 was 2.6%. Grand Island's preliminary rate dropped three-tenths of a point to hit 3.1%, compared with 3.4% in July. The year-ago August figure was 2.8%.

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: 3.3, 3.5

— Columbus: 3.0, 3.2

— Fremont: 2.9, 3.2

— Hastings: 3.0, 3.6

— Kearney: 2.8, 3.0

— Lexington: 2.9, 3.2

— Norfolk: 2.7, 3.2

— North Platte: 3.5, 4.2

— Red Willow: 3.0, 3.5

— Scottsbluff: 3.6, 4.0