LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska's unemployment rate edged up to 4 percent in July, the state Labor Department said in a report released Friday.

The preliminary figure was a tenth of a point higher than the revised June figure of 3.9 percent, the report said. The preliminary figure reported for June was 3.8 percent.

Only North Dakota's July rate of 3 percent was lower than Nebraska's.

The national rate also rose a tenth of a point in July, to 8.3 percent.

A year ago Nebraska's July rate was 4.5 percent.

The slight rise came at the same time a report on the Leading Economic Indicator for Nebraska said the state reported a drop in initial unemployment claims.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist Eric Thompson, the lead author of the report and director of the UNL Bureau of Business Research, said the seeming contradiction could well be a statistical conflict or fluke because the unemployment rate is an estimate that reflects, among other things, the number of people who remain on unemployment.

The Labor Department report said the number of unemployed people in Nebraska was estimated at 40,594 in July, compared with 39,197 in June. The total workforce in the state was estimated at 1.02 million.

Unemployment in the state's largest city, Omaha, rose to 4.7 percent, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the revised June figure of 4.5 percent. A year ago the July figure was 5.1 percent.

In Lincoln, the rate rose to 3.8 percent from a revised figure of 3.7 percent in June. A year ago the July rate was 4.1 percent.

The unemployment rates for Lincoln and Omaha are not seasonally adjusted, the department has said, so they cannot be directly compared to the state unemployment rate.

Here are preliminary area labor market unemployment rates for July, followed by the revised June rates:

— Beatrice: 6.0, 4.2

— Columbus: 3.7, 3.5

— Fremont: 4.5, 4.3

— Grand Island: 3.9, 3.7

— Hastings: 4.1, 3.8

— Kearney: 3.5, 3.4

— Lexington: 4.3, 4.2

— Norfolk: 3.9, 3.7

— North Platte: 3.6, 3.4

— Red Willow: 4.1, 3.7

— Scotts Bluff: 4.8, 4.6



Nebraska Department of Labor: