- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s unemployment rate inched up a tenth of a point to 3.3 percent in October, according to a state report issued Friday.

The state’s preliminary rate is below the national one of 4.9 percent, which dropped one-tenth of a point from September.

“The slight increase in the October unemployment rate appears to be primarily due to people re-entering the labor market and looking for work,” Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin said.

New Hampshire and South Dakota had the nation’s lowest unemployment rates, with each at 2.8 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department. North Dakota’s rate unemployment rate was 3 percent. A year ago, Nebraska’s rate was 3 percent.

Nebraska’s nonfarm employment in October increased by 5,510 over the prior month and 2,908 over the year, according to the state labor department.

Private industries with the most growth year over year were education and health services, up 2,977; professional and business services, up 672; and leisure and hospitality, up 394. Month over month, the largest gains were seen in trade, transportation and utilities, up 3,585.

The preliminary Omaha area rate dropped a tenth of a point 3.2 percent last month compared with September. The Lincoln area rate dropped one tenth of a point, to 2.8 percent. The Grand Island area rate increased one-tenth of a point, to 3.3 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 October, followed by revised figures for September:

- Beatrice: 3.5, 3.1

- Columbus: 3.4, 3.3

- Fremont: 3.1, 3.1

- Hastings: 3.1, 3.0

- Kearney: 2.5, 2.5

- Lexington: 3.0, 3.0

- Norfolk: 2.8, 2.8

- North Platte: 2.9, 2.9

- Red Willow: 3.0, 2.8

- Scottsbluff: 3.6, 3.6

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