Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate in January dropped 2-10ths of a point to 2.5%. While 4-10ths of a point higher than a year ago, it’s nearly a full point under the national rate of 3.4%.
It’s also tied with Montana for the 4th-lowest rate in the country behind the 2.1% of both North Dakota and South Dakota and Utah’s 2.4%.
The unemployment rate for Omaha was 2.5%, with Lincoln at 2%, Grand Island 2.3%, and the Scottsbluff micropolitan statistical area 2.6%.
The statewide figure is adjusted for seasonal factors while the local numbers aren’t, making comparisons between them meaningless.
Some of the detailed information normally put out, such as local comparisons to last January, isn’t available because the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is in the midst of benchmarking.
Benchmarking is the agency’s annual revision process that incorporates the latest available data. Benchmarked nonfarm employment data will be published on March 24, at which time comparisons to 2022 data will be available.
State Labor Commissioner John Albin is pleased with the numbers he does have, pointing out the state’s labor force grew by 5,070 since last January to 1,059,707 with the number employed workers above a million at 1,033,170.
Nonfarm employment, a count of filled jobs, was 123,826 – a drop of 19,201 from December. Private industry sectors bucking the trend were Other Services, which was up 1,347 for the month, and information, up by 26 jobs.