Nebraska jobless rate falls back under 4 percent

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Posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 12:00 am

Nebraska's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell in September and again in October, the Nebraska Department of Labor said Friday, while Iowa's rate also fell both months.

Nebraska's October rate was 3.9 percent, and Iowa's was 4.6 percent. September unemployment rates were 4.1 percent in Nebraska and 4.7 percent in Iowa. September reporting was delayed by the government's partial shutdown.

“I am happy to report that our unemployment rate declined two months in a row and our labor force employment continues to show an increase over last year,” Nebraska Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang said.

The work force grew in October by about 1,650, compared with a year ago, but month over month, the workforce shrank by about 5,000 people as the number of employed and the number of unemployed both fell.

The Iowa workforce was flat month over month but grew 1.8 percent compared with a year ago.

The education and health services sector showed gains in both states.

Both states' unemployment rates are among the lowest in the nation. Nebraska's is third- lowest, behind North and South Dakota. Iowa is tied for sixth- lowest with Wyoming and Utah.

Nebraska's rate dipped below 4 percent for the first time since May, after rising this summer to 4.2 percent in July and August. It was below 3 percent briefly in early 2008, before the recession.

The national unemployment rate rose in October to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent in September but was lower than the 7.9 percent rate a year ago.

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