Nebraska's preliminary jobless rate rose slightly in May to 2.6 percent, still nation's lowest



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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska's unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point to hit 2.6 percent in May, but it remained the lowest rate in the nation, according to reports released Friday.

The May rate was eight-tenths of a point below the May 2014 rate of 3.4 percent, according to the Nebraska Labor Department.

The new Nebraska figure remained well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in May. U.S. Labor Department figures said Nebraska was trailed by North Dakota at 3.1 percent and Utah at 3.5 percent.

"Nebraska's employment numbers were strong again in May as total nonfarm employment topped 1 million statewide and Omaha's employment was the highest it's been since 1990" said state Labor Commissioner John Albin.

Nebraska's total nonfarm employment reached 1,007,346 in May, which was an increase of 4,326 workers from April. Segments with the most growth over the month were mining and construction, up 1,907; trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,387; and leisure and hospitality, up 467.

Omaha's preliminary unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point to hit 2.9 percent last month, but it was down six-tenths of a point from the revised May 2014 figure of 3.5 percent. Lincoln's preliminary May rate was 2.2 percent, the same as the revised figure for April but seven-tenths of a point below the revised May 2014 figure of 2.9 percent.

The preliminary rate for the Grand Island labor market was 2.7 percent, the same as the revised figure for April but down four-tenths of a point from the revised May 2014 figure of 3.1 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.

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for May, followed by revised figures from April:

—Beatrice: 3.2, 3.2

—Columbus: 2.5, 2.3

—Fremont: 2.9, 2.8

—Hastings: 2.7, 2.6

—Kearney: 2.2, 2.0

—Lexington: 2.7, 2.7

—Norfolk: 2.3, 2.3

—North Platte: 2.5, 2.5

—Red Willow: 2.3, 2.2

—Scottsbluff: 3.0, 2.9


Online:

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

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