- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate remained unchanged in June at 2.9 percent, the state’s Labor Department said in a report issued Friday.

The June rate was three-tenths of a point under the year-ago rate of 3.2 percent, the department said, and remained well below the U.S. rate of 4.5 percent in June.

Nonfarm employment was 1,039,386, up 18,620 over the year and up 5,191 over the month, the report said. The total is up 1.8 percent from June 2016.

Private industries with the most growth year over year were leisure and hospitality, up 4,440; professional and business services, up 4,283; trade, transportation and utilities, up 2,840. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and mining and construction.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate rose to 3.2 percent - three-tenths of a point higher than in May but four-tenths of a point under the June 2016 rate. Lincoln’s preliminary rate also rose three-tenths of a point, hitting 2.9 percent last month compared with 2.6 percent in May. It was down four-tenths of a point from 3.3 percent a year ago. Grand Island’s preliminary rate rose to 3 percent from 2.8 percent in May. The rate in June 2016 was 3.6 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 June, followed by the revised May rates:

- Beatrice: 3.4, 3.0

- Columbus: 3.1, 2.9

- Fremont: 3.0, 2.7

- Hastings: 3.3, 2.9

- Kearney: 2.7, 2.4

- Lexington: 2.8, 2.6

- Norfolk: 2.9, 2.5

- North Platte: 3.1, 2.8

- Red Willow: 2.9, 2.7

- Scottsbluff: 3.4, 3.2

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