LINCOLN, Neb. — The number of employed workers rose in Nebraska last month as the unemployment rate dropped to 2.8 percent, according to a state report issued Friday.
The Nebraska Labor Department said the preliminary February rate was one-tenth of a point under the 2.9 percent of January and December and was down two-tenths of a point from the 3 percent of February 2017. This February’s rate also remained well below the U.S. rate, which was unchanged at 4.1 percent.
“The labor force and number of employed workers both increased again in February, and nearly 55,000 jobs with Nebraska employers were listed on NEworks.nebraska.gov,” said state Labor Commissioner John Albin.
Vermont joined Nebraska at 2.8 percent. New Hampshire and North Dakota recorded rates of 2.6 percent, and Hawaii’s 2.1 percent was the nation’s lowest rate last month.
Nebraska’s nonfarm employment for February was 1,006,857. The private industries with the most growth over the month were education and health services, up 1,087; leisure and hospitality, up 674; and other services, up 438.
The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 3.1 percent from 3.2 percent in January. Lincoln’s preliminary rate dropped one-tenth to hit 2.6 percent, compared with 2.7 percent in January. Grand Island’s preliminary rate plummeted to 3.2 percent from 4.8 percent in January.
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 February, followed by the January rates:
— Beatrice: 3.6, 3.8
— Columbus: 2.6, 2.7
— Fremont: 2.8, 3.1
— Hastings: 3.0, 3.4
— Kearney: 2.2, 2.3
— Lexington: 3.0, 3.0
— Norfolk: 2.8, 2.9
— North Platte: 3.2, 3.3
— Red Willow: 2.4, 2.4
— Scottsbluff: 3.2, 3.3