Nebraska unemployment rate drops to 4.5 percent

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 11:17 AM

Nebraska's unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in November, the state Labor Department said Friday.

That's a decline of four-tenths of a point from 4.9 percent in October, the department said.

The figure is nine-tenths of a point higher than the 3.6 percent of November 2008.

The national unemployment rate also dropped last month, to 10 percent from 10.2 percent in October.

Labor Commissioner Catherine D. Lang said in a news release that the new rate reflects an increase in employment in Nebraska.

"A lower unemployment rate is a positive reflection on the outlook of our employers and efforts of our workers," Lang said. "However, cautious optimism is in order."

Her department said three private industry sectors added jobs last month: trade, transportation and utilities, 3,744; education and health services, 869; and manufacturing, 587.

Nebraska's seasonally adjusted labor force in November included 981,608 people. Of those, 44,473 were listed as unemployed, which is 3,793 fewer than the revised October figures and 8,022 higher than November 2008.

The state said the unemployment rate did not rise in any of its labor markets last month.

Omaha's estimated unemployment rate dipped to 4.6 percent in November from a revised 4.8 percent in October. The rate was 3.7 percent in November 2008.

Lincoln's estimated unemployment rate slipped to 3.9 percent in November from a revised 4.2 percent in October. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 3.1 percent.

Unemployment rates for Omaha and Lincoln are not seasonally adjusted and are not compared with the state unemployment rate.

Here are the preliminary labor market rates for November, followed by the revised October rates:

_ Beatrice: 5.7/6.1

_ Columbus: 4.0/4.1

_ Fremont: 4.6/4.8

_ Grand Island: 4.0/4.0

_ Hastings: 4.9/5.1

_ Kearney: 3.0/3.4

_ Lexington: 4.3/4.5

_ Norfolk: 3.6/3.9

_ North Platte: 3.8/4.0

_ Red Willow: 4.0/4.6

_ Scotts Bluff: 4.8/4.8


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