- Associated Press - Monday, March 11, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Labor Department says the state’s unemployment rate was unchanged in January: 2.8 percent.

The department said in a news release Monday that the preliminary January rate is down a tenth of a point from the January 2018 rate of 2.9 percent.

The January Nebraska rate also was well below the national preliminary January figure of 4 percent - a tenth-of-a-point increase from December.

The preliminary nonfarm employment figure in January was nearly 1.01 million, compared with the adjusted December figure of 1.03 million.

The state says the year-over-year comparison figures for nonfarm employment and other data categories won’t be available until later this month because of the benchmarking process. The state describes benchmarking as the yearly process of aligning estimated data with known employment numbers.

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for January:

- Beatrice: 3.6

- Columbus: 2.9

- Fremont: 3.0

- Hastings: 3.4

- Kearney: 2.5

- Lexington: 3.1

- Norfolk: 2.8

- North Platte: 3.4

- Red Willow: 2.7

- Scottsbluff: 3.7

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