Lowest unemployment rate: This state unseated Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska's unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent in September, which means the state no longer has the lowest rate in the nation, according to monthly reports released Tuesday.

The U.S. Labor Department said Nebraska had the second-lowest figure last month, just above North Dakota's 2.8 percent.

The Nebraska Labor Department said the state's preliminary September rate is up a tenth of a point from 2.8 percent in August. The new figure is three-tenths of a point under the September 2014 rate of 3.2 percent.

The rate has risen steadily since the 2.5 percent reported in April, but has remained well below the national unemployment rate, which held steady at 5.1 percent in September.

Nebraska's nonfarm employment rose by nearly 6,300 over the past year to top 1 million last month, the state said. Private industries with the most job growth year over year were education and health services, up 4,175; other services, up 2,073; and financial activities, up 309.

The preliminary Omaha rate dropped a tenth of a point from August to 2.9 percent in September. The figure was four-tenths of a point under the 3.3 percent seen in September 2014. The Lincoln rate also dropped a tenth of a point, to 2.2 percent. That also was four-tenths of a point under the September 2014 figure. The Grand Island rate dropped to 2.8 percent last month from 4.6 percent in August. The September 2014 figure was 3 percent.

The unemployment rates for Grand Island, Lincoln and Omaha have not been seasonally adjusted, so they cannot be directly compared with the state unemployment rate.