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Nebraska jobless inches up to 3.7 percent

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April 18, 2014 11:43 AM EST | AP


LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate inched up a tenth of a point to hit 3.7 percent in March, but the state's jobless rate remains one of the lowest in the nation, according to a state report released Friday.

The 3.7 percent rate in March is two-tenths of a point under the 3.9 percent the state posted in March 2013, the state Department of Labor said. Nebraska is tied with South Dakota for the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation after North Dakota and Vermont, and its rate is well below the national figure of 6.7 percent in March.

There were 1,027,253 people in the state labor force last month, the report said, compared with 1,025,801 in February. The number of unemployed rose to 38,459 from 36,933 in in February. The number of people with Nebraska jobs in March dropped slightly, to 988,794 from 988,868 in February. In March 2013 the number of employed was 988,507, the state report said.

In Omaha, the preliminary unemployment rate remained at 4.5 percent, matching the rate a year ago. Lincoln's March rate dropped a tenth of a point from February, to 3.5 percent. That's also a tenth of a point under the March 2013 rate of 3.6 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 March, followed by the revised February rates:

—Beatrice: 4.5, 4.8

—Columbus: 3.4, 3.5

—Fremont: 4.2, 4.4

—Grand Island: 6.7, 3.9

—Hastings: 4.4, 4.1

—Kearney: 3.2, 3.3

—Lexington: 4.5, 4.6

—Norfolk: 3.9, 4.0

—North Platte: 3.5, 3.5

—Red Willow: 3.1, 3.2

—Scotts Bluff: 4.3, 4.3