- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s unemployment rate rose to 3.4 percent in November, up a tenth of a point from the previous month, according to a state report issued Friday.

The Nebraska Department of Labor said the preliminary rate was below the preliminary national rate of 4.6 percent, which dropped three-tenths of a point from October’s 4.9 percent.

New Hampshire and South Dakota had the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, with each at 2.7 percent. Nebraska’s November rate came in ninth, behind Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, Utah, Colorado and Vermont.

“While unemployment rose slightly in November, the state continues to see strong growth in the nonfarm employment sector,” Nebraska Labor Commissioner John H. Albin said.

Nebraska’s nonfarm employment in November increased by 6,455 over the prior month and a high of 11,268 over the year, according to the state labor department.

Private industries with the most growth year-over-year were education and health services, up 3,331; professional and business services, up 3,045; and leisure and hospitality, up 2,193. Month-to-month, the largest gains were seen in trade, transportation and utilities, up 4,608; professional and business services, up 1,416; and education and health services, up 830.

The preliminary Omaha area rate dropped three-tenths of a point to 2.9 percent last month compared with October’s 3.2 percent. The Lincoln and Grand Island area rates also dropped three-tenths of a point. In Lincoln, it fell to 2.5 percent from October’s 2.8 percent. In Grand Island, the rate dropped from 3.3 percent to 3 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 November, followed by revised figures for October:

- Beatrice: 3.1, 3.5

- Columbus: 3.1, 3.4

- Fremont: 2.9, 3.0

- Hastings: 2.9, 3.1

- Kearney: 2.5, 2.5

- Lexington: 2.9, 3.0

- Norfolk: 2.6, 2.8

- North Platte: 2.9, 2.9

- Red Willow: 3.5, 3.6

- Scottsbluff: 2.5, 3.0

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