Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate was 2.5 percent in April, down from the March rate of 2.6 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the State Department of Labor.

"Employment in Nebraska was very strong in April, with total nonfarm employment exceeding one million and both the Omaha and Lincoln metropolitan areas achieving new record highs for nonfarm jobs," said John Albin, commissioner of labor.

Since February, the state has had the lowest jobless rate in the nation.

Iowa’s unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point last month, dropping to 3.8 percent in April from 4 percent in March, which is down from 4.4 percent in April 2014.

Omaha’s estimated jobless rate, not seasonally adjusted, fell to 2.8 percent last month from a revised 3.1 percent in March. Lincoln’s estimated unemployment rate dropped to 2.1 percent in April from 2.3 percent in March.

Total nonfarm employment in Nebraska reached 1,003,662 last month, up 10,888 from March.

Private industries with the most growth year over year were education and health services, other services and financial activities.

Month to month, the largest gains were seen in mining and construction; trade, transportation and utilities; and leisure and hospitality.

The U.S. unemployment rate in April was 5.4 percent.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1142,

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