Nebraska Hits New Record Low Unemployment Rate


      Nebraska’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point in November to a seasonally-adjusted 1.8%, the lowest recorded anywhere in the country since data collection began in 1976.

The only other time a state’s unemployment rate was below 2% was Nebraska last month.

     Nebraska had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country throughout the pandemic, including 3.4% last November when the national rate was 6.7%. The national rate this November was 4.2%, 4-10ths of a point lower than October.

      Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin says the number of unemployed workers in the state labor force reached a historical low of 18,127 in November while the number of workers with jobs was above 1-million for the third straight month. Those not working and not looking for work are not considered part of the labor force. 

     The private industry sector with the most job growth from October to November was Trade, Transportation, and Utilities with 4,121. The most growth since last November was 7,275 in Leisure and Hospitality, followed by Professional and Business Service at 6,627 and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities with 5,176 more jobs.

     November’s unemployment rate in Lincoln was 1.1%, a drop of 2-10ths of a point for the month and 1.9-points from a year ago, while the Omaha rate of 1.5%, was an improvement of 2-tenths for the month and 1.7-points for the year.

     The rate in Grand Island fell 3-10ths of a point to 1.2%, a full 3-points better than last year.  The Scottsbluff Micropolitan Statistical Area dropped to 1.3%, down 2-tenths for the month and 1.6-points for the year.

      State and federal jobless numbers are adjusted for seasonal factors while the local numbers are not, making comparisons meaningless.

    Nebraska was struggling with a chronic worker shortage before the pandemic, a trend that has continued – leaving many jobs unfilled while driving up wages and making it difficult for employers to hire and expand.