LINCOLN, Neb. — The state’s preliminary unemployment rate dropped slightly in October to 2.7 percent, reaching a low that hasn’t been seen since 1999, the Nebraska Labor Department said in a report Friday.
The October rate was one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the September rate of 2.8 percent and six-tenths of a point under the year-ago rate of 3.3 percent. The October rate also remained well below the U.S. rate, which dipped slightly to 4.1 percent for the month.
“The number of workers employed reached an all-time high in October, both statewide and in the Lincoln metro area, while Nebraska’s unemployment rate was the lowest it’s been since 1999,” Labor Commissioner John Albin said in a written release.
Nebraska nonfarm employment in September was up 10,379 over the year and up 1,624 over the month, the report said. Private industries with the most growth year over year were professional and business services, up 4,344; leisure and hospitality, up 2,480; and other services, up 2,024. Month to month, the largest gains were seen in education and health services, up 1,447; trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,033; and manufacturing, up 419.
The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 2.4 percent in October — three-tenths of a point lower than the revised September rate of 2.7 percent and seven-tenths of a point under the October 2016 rate of 3.1 percent. Lincoln’s preliminary rate also dropped two-tenths of a point, hitting 2.1 percent last month, compared with 2.3 percent in September. The October 2016 figure was 2.8 percent. Grand Island’s preliminary rate dropped to 2.4 percent last month from 2.5 percent in September. The October 2016 rate: 3.2 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.
Albin said Omaha’s October rate hit a 20-year low, while Lincoln’s rate is the lowest since 2000.
Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for October, followed by the revised September rates:
— Beatrice: 2.7, 5.4
— Columbus: 2.3, 2.4
— Fremont: 2.3, 2.5
— Hastings: 2.4, 2.6
— Kearney: 2.0, 2.1
— Lexington: 2.4, 2.4
— Norfolk: 2.2, 2.2
— North Platte: 2.4, 2.5
— Red Willow: 2.3, 2.4
— Scottsbluff: 2.6, 3.0