Nebraska unemployment rate steady at 2.9 percent in July

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate in July matched the year-ago figure and June’s rate of 2.9 percent, the State Labor Department said Friday.

“The unemployment rate has remained under 3 percent for 16 consecutive months,” Labor Commissioner John Albin said.

In Iowa, the preliminary unemployment rate dropped to 2.6 percent in June, tying it with South Dakota for the second-lowest rate in the nation. Iowa Workforce Development said Friday that the rate, down from 2.7 percent in June, was an 18-year low.

Hawaii had the nation’s lowest rate last month at 2.1 percent. The national rate of 3.9 percent in July was down from 4 percent in June.

Nebraska’s nonfarm employment was 1,033,228 in July, up 1.9 percent over the year and down eight-tenths of a point over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were manufacturing, up 4,791; leisure and hospitality, up 4,160; and professional and business services, up 4,038. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in professional and business services, up 986; education and health services, up 831; and manufacturing, up 624.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate remained 3.1 percent in July, matching the June figure . The new rate was two-tenths of a point lower than the 3.3 percent of July 2017. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped a tenth of a point in July, to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in June. The year-ago figure was 2.9 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate for July was 3.1 percent, matching the June rate and that of July 2017.

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