Nebraska Unemployment Hits 4 Percent In February

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) â¿¿ Nebraska's unemployment rate hit 4 percent in February, dropping slightly from the month before and remaining less than half the national rate, according to state Labor Department data released Friday.

The statewide jobless rate was 4.1 percent in January, according to revised figures, and 4.5 percent in February 2011. The national unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent last month.

"Compared to last year, the Nebraska economy continues to show growth," Nebraska Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang said. "We continue to see job increases in manufacturing, as well as business, health and education services ... while unemployment claims are down from a year ago."

The number of unemployed people in Nebraska was estimated at 40,875 last month, down from an estimated 41,242 in January.

Unemployment in state's largest city, Omaha, rose to an estimated 5.1 percent in February, compared with a revised figure of 5 percent in January. In Lincoln, the rate rose to 4 percent from 3.8 percent in January. The unemployment rates for those cities are not seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared to the state unemployment rate.

Unemployment figures for March were scheduled to be released on April 20, the department said. The February rate could be revised at that time.

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for February, followed by the revised January rates:

â¿¿ Beatrice: 5.1, 4.9

â¿¿ Columbus: 4.0, 3.8

â¿¿ Fremont: 5.1, 5.0

â¿¿ Grand Island: 4.3, 4.2

â¿¿ Hastings: 4.5, 4.4

â¿¿ Kearney: 3.5, 3.2

â¿¿ Lexington: 5.4, 5.4

â¿¿ Norfolk: 4.3, 4.1

â¿¿ North Platte: 4.0, 3.9

â¿¿ Red Willow: 4.0, 3.7

â¿¿ Scotts Bluff: 5.4, 5.0
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