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State and local unemployment rates both fell in December compared with a year ago, and the state announced that it hit a jobs milestone last year.

Nebraska's unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in December, the same as it was in November but down from 3.3 percent in December 2016.

Employment was up by more than 4,000 from a year ago, while unemployment fell by more than 5,700 people.

The number of jobs in the state in December was 1,037,248, which was an increase of more than 10,000 from a year ago.

The 1 million job mark in December helped the state hit a significant milestone.

"This is the first time that Nebraska had more than one million jobs in each month of the year," Commissioner of Labor John Albin said in a news release. He called 2017 a "strong year" for non-farm employment.

In the Lincoln area, unemployment rose in December compared with November, but it was down from a year ago. The rate of 2.4 percent compared with 2.1 percent in November and 2.8 percent in December 2016.

There were 1,350 more people employed in the Lincoln area than there were a year ago and nearly 650 fewer unemployed. There were 194,519 jobs locally, 3,666 more than a year ago.

The local and state unemployment rates continued to be well below the national rate, which was 4.1 percent in December. Albin said Nebraska's rate was fourth-lowest among the states. Hawaii, which had an all-time record low rate of 2 percent in December, had the lowest rate in the country.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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