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The Lincoln area had fewer jobs and more people without jobs in March compared with a year ago.

According to data released Friday by the Nebraska Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in the Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Lancaster and Seward counties, was 2.9% in March, up from 2.8% in February and 2.7% in March 2018.

The number of people employed was up by more than 900 from a year ago; however, there also were nearly 500 more people unemployed.

The number of jobs in the area declined by more than 800 in March compared with a year ago.

The statewide unemployment rate was 2.8% in March, the same as in February and down from 2.9% in March 2018.

In Nebraska as a whole, there were 11,551 more people employed in March than a year ago and 170 more unemployed.

The employment gain in March boosted the number of people with jobs in Nebraska over the 1 million mark for the first time ever.

However, the total number of jobs in the state fell by nearly 1,200 compared with a year ago.

Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin said in a news release that it was encouraging that employment levels remain strong and the unemployment rate remains low in the state.

The state and local unemployment numbers both remained below the national unemployment rate, which was 3.8%

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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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