Nebraska preliminary April jobless rate drops to 3 percent

Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate dropped another tenth of a point in April, hitting 3 percent after dropping to 3.1 percent in March and 3.2 percent in February, the state's Labor Department said in a report Friday.

The April rate was two-tenths of a point lower than last April's rate of 3.2 percent and was well below the national rate of 4.4 percent last month.

Nonfarm employment remained above 1 million last month, the report said.

"The Omaha Metropolitan Statistical Area had over 500,000 nonfarm jobs in April, the first time the Omaha MSA has hit this milestone in the month of April," said Labor Commissioner John Albin. "Strength in the Omaha economy can also be seen in the unemployment rate, which dropped to 2.9 percent, not seasonally adjusted, in April."

The private industry segments with the most growth during April were mining and construction, up 3,980; leisure and hospitality, up 2,838; and professional and business services, up 1,579.

The preliminary Omaha-area rate dropped to 2.9 percent from the revised rate of 3.2 percent in March and was three-tenths of a point under the 3.2 percent for April 2016. Lincoln's preliminary rate dropped to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in March and 2.8 percent a year ago. Grand Island's preliminary rate rose two-tenths of a point to hit 3.5 percent last month, compared with 3.3 percent in March. The year-ago rate was 3.4 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 April, followed by the revised March rates:

— Beatrice: 3.1, 3.5

— Columbus: 2.9, 3.2

— Fremont: 2.7, 3.0

— Hastings: 2.9, 3.2

— Kearney: 2.2, 2.2

— Lexington: 2.7, 3.1

— Norfolk: 2.5, 2.9

— North Platte: 2.8, 3.1

— Red Willow: 2.5, 2.7

— Scottsbluff: 3.3, 3.7