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A state report says Nebraska's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.9 percent in December

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LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.9 percent in December, according to a state report released Tuesday.

The Nebraska Labor Department said the preliminary December rate was two-tenths of a point under the December 2014 rate of 3.1 percent and remained well below the preliminary national unemployment rate of 5 percent in December.

U.S. Labor Department figures said the 2.9 percent rate reported for Nebraska and South Dakota was just above North Dakota's 2.7 percent, the lowest rate in the nation.

"Nebraska's average unemployment rate for 2015 was 2.8 percent and has been dropping since 2009," Labor Commissioner John Albin said in a news release. "December saw another month-to-month increase in Nebraska's labor force employment."

Nebraska's nonfarm employment rose by 14,499 from December 2014, the department said. Private industries with the most job growth year over year were education and health services, up by 6,910; trade, transportation and utilities, up by 3,227; and financial activities, up by 2,576.

The preliminary Omaha unemployment rate rose to 3 percent from a revised November figure of 2.8 percent, and was two-tenths of a point under the 3.2 percent seen in December 2014. The Lincoln rate also rose two-tenths of a point, to 2.3 percent, and was three-tenths of a point under the December 2014 figure. The Grand Island rate rose to 3.2 percent last month, compared with 2.8 percent in November; its December rate matched the 3.2 percent reported a year ago.

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 December, followed by revised figures for November:

— Beatrice: 3.0, 2.7

— Columbus: 3.2, 3.3

— Fremont: 3.0, 2.7

— Hastings: 2.9, 2.5

— Kearney: 2.2, 1.9

— Lexington: 2.8, 2.7

— Norfolk: 2.5, 2.2

— North Platte: 2.6, 2.4

— Red Willow: 2.7, 2.4

— Scottsbluff: 3.1, 3.1


Online:

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

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