LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate dropped again and finished the year at 3.6 percent in December, according to a Nebraska Labor Department report released Friday.
The rate declined from 3.7 percent in November, which was two-tenths of a point under the October figure of 3.9 percent. A year ago the December figure was 3.8 percent.
"There was consistent growth in manufacturing, as well as the education and health industry, through the year," said Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang.
Nebraska's December figure remained well below the national unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, which dropped three-tenths of a point from 7 percent in November.
Nebraska's nonfarm employment rose 10,066 in December. The three industries with the largest increases were trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and other services.
The report said there were 1,021,567 people in the state labor force last month, compared with 1,023,316 in November. The number of unemployed dropped to 36,397 from 37,643 in November.
In Omaha the preliminary unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent from 3.6 percent in November. The rate was 4.2 percent in December 2012. Lincoln's December rate was 3.1 percent. That was two-tenths of a point higher than November's revised rate of 2.9 percent but three-tenths of a point lower than the December 2012 rate of 3.4 percent.
The unemployment rates for Lincoln and Omaha are not seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared to the state unemployment rate.
Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for December, followed by the revised November rates:
—Beatrice: 3.7, 3.6
—Columbus: 2.9, 2.7
—Fremont: 3.7, 3.4
—Grand Island: 3.3, 3.0
—Hastings: 3.5, 3.1
—Kearney: 2.8, 2.5
—Lexington: 4.1, 3.6
—Norfolk: 3.1, 2.8
—North Platte: 2.9, 2.6
—Red Willow: 2.9, 2.6
—Scotts Bluff: 3.6, 3.4
Nebraska Department of Labor: http://www.dol.nebraska.gov