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The Lincoln area's unemployment rate dropped back below 3% in August, but still is considerably higher than last year.

According to data released Friday by the Nebraska Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in the Lincoln Metropolitan Statistical Area was 2.9% in August. That was down from 3% in July, but up from 2.6% last year.

The Lincoln-area unemployment rate was above 3% in June and July for the first time since the beginning of 2017.

In August, there were nearly 2,300 more people employed in the Lincoln area than in August 2018, but there also were 660 more people unemployed.

Compared with a year ago, there were 655 more jobs in the Lincoln metro area in August.

Lincoln fared better than the state as a whole, which had an unemployment rate of 3.1% last month. That was the same as the July rate, but it was up sharply from the 2.7% unemployment recorded in August 2018.

Statewide, there were more than 13,500 more people employed in August than there were a year ago, but the number of people unemployed rose by nearly 4,200.

The number of people employed hit a record level for the eighth month in a row, Labor Commissioner John Albin said in a news release.

Compared with a year ago, there were nearly 8,800 more jobs in Nebraska in August.

The state and local unemployment rates remained below the national rate, which was 3.7% in August.

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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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