- Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The state’s preliminary May unemployment rate matched the April, March and February rate of 2.8 percent, the Nebraska Labor Department said in a report released Friday.

The rate is down a tenth of a point from the 2.9 percent of May 2017, the department said, and remained well below the U.S. figure, which dropped to 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in April.

“Total nonfarm employment for May 2018 marks an all-time high for Nebraska,” said state Labor Commissioner John Albin. “Contributing to this growth were the Lincoln and Omaha metropolitan areas, which also reached historical highs.”

State nonfarm employment for May was 1,039,557, up 12,760 over the year and up 13,162 over the month. Private industries with the most growth year over year were manufacturing, up 3,539; leisure and hospitality, up 3,442; and professional and business services, up 2,857.

Month to month, the largest gains were seen in mining and construction, up 3,525; trade, transportation and utilities, up 3,378; and leisure and hospitality, up 2,736.



The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 2.8 percent from 2.9 percent in April. The new rate is a tenth of a point lower than that of May 2017. Lincoln’s preliminary rate remained unchanged at 2.6 percent in May, matching the year-ago figure. Grand Island’s preliminary rate for May dropped to 2.9 percent from 3 percent in April. The new figure was a tenth of a point higher than May 2017.

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 May, followed by the April rates:

- Beatrice: 3.0, 3.1

- Columbus: 2.8, 2.8

- Fremont: 2.8, 2.8

- Hastings: 2.8, 2.9

- Kearney: 2.5, 2.3

- Lexington: 2.7, 2.9

- Norfolk: 2.5, 2.6

- North Platte: 2.9, 2.9

- Red Willow: 2.6, 2.5

- Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.3

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