Nebraska Jobless Rate Falls To 2.8% For The First Time Since 2018


       Nebraska’s unemployment rate in April dropped a tenth of a point to 2.8% while nonfarm employment rose back over a million. State Labor Commissioner John Albin says both numbers are more evidence of a strong recovery from the pandemic.

       The jobless rate was 7.4% in April of last year and hadn’t been as low as 2.8% since the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2018. Last month’s non-farm employment of 1,007,851 was almost 71.000 more people working than a year ago.

      Private industry sectors with the most new jobs compared to March were leisure and hospitality with 3,216 more, mining and construction with 2,601 more, and professional and business services adding 2,543 jobs.

     The biggest growth from last April also came in leisure and hospitality, which had bars closed and no indoor dining a year ago. The industry this time reported almost 29,000 more jobs.

     Also up after major pandemic layoffs last year were trade, transportation and utilities with 12,246 additional jobs, and education and health with 11,320 more.

     The April unemployment rate for Omaha in April was 2.9%, down 4-10ths of a point from March and 5.8-points from last year, while the Lincoln rate of 2.2% was also down 5.8-points for the year but 7-10ths of a point from March. 

      Grand Island came in at 2.5% for improvements of 6-10ths of a point for the month and 6.4-points for the year.

      The Scottsbluff micropolitan statistical area had a rate of 2.5%, down 3-10ths from March and 3.8-points lower than a year ago.

       The state unemployment rate is adjusted for seasonal factors while local rates are not, making comparisons of the two meaningless.