Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 7-10ths of a point in July to 4.8%. While that’s still 1.7-points higher than last July, it’s 3.9-points lower than the pandemic high of 8.9% in April.
It’s also the second-lowest rate in the country behind Utah’s 4.5% and less than half the national jobless rate of 10.2%.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has temporarily suspended its date-smoothing process, leading to bigger month-to-month swings for all states. Nebraska’s preliminary rate was 1.2-points higher than the final figure, the largest revision since the start of the pandemic.
The July unemployment rate for Omaha was 5.9%, a full point lower than June but 2.6-points higher than a year ago, while Lincoln’s 5.0% was 7-10ths lower for the month and up 2-points from last year.
Grand Island posted a 5.4% rate, down 8-10ths of point from June and 2-points above last year, while the Scottsbluff Micropolitan Statistical Area came in at 4.8%, improving from June by 4-10ths of a point and just 9-10ths of a point higher than last year.
The local numbers are not adjusted for seasonal factors the way the state numbers are, making comparisons between the two meaningless.
State Labor Commissioners John Albin says Nebraska added more than 6,400 jobs from June to July with new and continued jobless claims declining as pandemic layoffs and closures ended and people went back to work.
Total nonfarm employment is still down more than 40,000 jobs from last year but solid monthly increases were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector – which added 5,313 jobs – education and health services, which was up 3,353.