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Preliminary Nebraska jobless rate fell to 2.7 percent in February, the lowest figure in US

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate of 2.7 percent last month was the lowest in the country, a state report showed Friday.

The Nebraska Labor Department report said the February rate was seven-tenths of a point under the February 2014 rate of 3.4 percent and remained well under the new national average rate of 5.5 percent.

Nebraska's rate of 2.7 percent was trailed by North Dakota at 2.9 percent and South Dakota and Utah at 3.4 percent, according to U.S. Labor Department figures.

"Nebraska's nonfarm employment is up nearly 11,000 over last year," said Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin.

Compared with February 2014, the education and health services sector was up 3,430 jobs; the leisure and hospitality sector was up 2,080 jobs; and the sector of other services was up 1,920 jobs.

Nebraska listed 991,276 people as employed last month, compared with 991,014 in January and 987,302 in February 2014. There were 1,019,077 people in the state labor force in February, compared with 1,020,914 in January and 1,022,584 in February 2014, the report said.

Omaha's preliminary unemployment rate was 3.2 percent last month, down from January's revised figure of 3.6 percent. Lincoln's preliminary February rate was 2.4 percent, compared with a revised figure of 2.8 percent in January. The state Labor Department said the revised February 2014 rates for both markets won't be available until April 21.

The unemployment rates for Lincoln and Omaha are not 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 revised figures from January:

—Beatrice: 3.8, 4.5

—Columbus: 2.6, 2.8

—Fremont: 3.0, 3.3

—Hastings: 2.9, 3.5

—Kearney: 2.1, 2.4

—Lexington: 3.1, 3.6

—Norfolk: 2.6, 2.8

—North Platte: 2.7, 3.2

—Red Willow: 3.2, 3.7

—Scottsbluff: 2.4, 2.6


Online:

Nebraska Department of Labor: http://www.dol.nebraska.gov

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