Nebraska’s unemployment rate held steady in December at 3.7 percent, still the second-lowest rate in the country behind North Dakota. Iowa’s rate also was unchanged at 4.9 percent.

“Nebraska’s stable and diverse economy has contributed to a steady, and consistently low, unemployment rate,” said Catherine Lang, commissioner of labor.

All the rates are adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

Iowa Workforce Development director Teresa Wahlert noted that job growth in 2012 dropped the state’s unemployment rate below 5 percent in the last months of the year, with an especially strong hiring pattern in the construction sector, which added 4,400 jobs since September.

Nebraska showed job gains in December in three sectors: trade, transportation and utilities; education and health; and manufacturing.

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