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The statewide unemployment rate fell in January compared with a year ago, as did the rate in the Lincoln area.

According to data released Monday, the preliminary unemployment rate in January for Nebraska was 2.9 percent. That was the same as the revised rate for December and down 0.2 percentage points from January 2017.

The unemployment rate for the Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area was 2.7 percent, down from 3.1 percent a year ago. 

Statewide, there were just over 979,000 people employed in January, which was nearly 2,900, more than in January 2017. The total number of jobs in the state was 1,004,145.

In the Lincoln area, there were 175,823 people employed and 185,967 jobs.

The Labor Department did not provide an employment or jobs comparison from a year ago for Lincoln or other metro areas in the state because it is going through its annual benchmarking process, in which it aligns the data estimates taken monthly with data with known employment numbers from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Employment numbers did decline in January compared with December in some, which is a normal seasonal phenomenon as holiday-related temporary work tends to end in January.

However, state Labor Commissioner John H. Albin said the state’s total labor force and number of employed workers in the labor force were both up over the month and over the year.

The state and local unemployment rates continued to be well below the national rate, which was 4.1 percent in January.

 

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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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