Neb Jobless Drops To 4%, Lowest In Nation

Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for August fell 9-10ths of a point to 4%.

That’s the lowest rate in the nation and just 9-10ths of a point higher than a year ago – indicating the state is still on a path to economic recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown. 

       4.0% is also where the jobless rate was in March, the start of the pandemic, and State Labor Commissioner John Albin says the drop in the unemployment rate correlates with a decline in continued unemployment claims.

       Nonfarm employment is still about 37,500 jobs below last August at a little over 991,000 but is up almost 4,100 from July. 

     The only private industry sector with more jobs than last August is Financial Activities and it’s up only 676 jobs in the last 12 months including 586 of those in August. Leisure and Hospitality, on the other hand, jumped by almost 2,700 jobs last month

       The unemployment rate for Omaha was 4.5%, 1.5-points lower than July but the same 1.5-points higher than a year ago. Lincoln came in at 3.8%, a drop of 1.2-points for the month and 1-point more than last August.

      Grand Island’s jobless rate of 4.9% is still 1.9-points higher than last year but is a 6-10ths of a point improvement for the month and the Scottsbluff Micropolitan Statistical Area dropped 1.1-points in August to 3.8%, just 4-10ths of a point over last month.

      Statewide numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors while local jobless rates are not, so comparisons of the two are meaningless.