Nebraska Jobless Rate Drops To 3.5%, Lowest In The Nation

Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell half a point in September to 3.5%, the lowest rate in the country.

It’s 6-10ths of a point lower than #2 South Dakota, less than half the national rate of 7.9%, and nearly a fifth of Hawaii’s 15.1%. 

        While 3.5% is half a point higher than last September, it’s the first time the rate has dropped below 4% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March. 

        State Labor Commissioner John Albin proudly points out that not only is the unemployment rate dropping, Nebraska’s non-farm job count continues to increase.

       Non-farm employment  climbed above a million for the first time in the pandemic at 1,002,511 for an increase of 10,016 for the month but was still down 27,256 from a year ago. 

       Private industry sectors with the most growth year over year were education and health – up 1,840 – and financial activities – up 1,204. The largest monthly gains were in education and health  – up 2,274 and professional and business services – up 1,696.

        Omaha’s unemployment rate in Sept was 3.8%, down 8-10ths of a point from August and a full point higher than a year ago, while Lincoln’s 3.8% rate was 6-10th of a point lower for the month and 6-10ths higher for the year.

        Grand Island had a 4.1% jobless rate, 8-10ths of a point better than in August but 1.2-points higher than last year. The Scottsbluff micropolitan statistical area posted a 3.2% rate, 6-10ths of a point lower than August and only a tenth of a point higher than a year ago.

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