Nebraska Unemployment Rises 1.4-points To 6.7%

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska’s unemployment rate rose 1.4-points in June to 6.7% as the coronavirus pandemic made itself felt again.

Nebraska had the nation’s lowest rate in May and the July rate is still among the country’s lowest and well under the national rate of 11.1%, which was down 2.2-points from May.

State Labor Commissioner John Albin says the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has temporarily suspended the data smooth process in all states, which has contributed to greater volatility in the month-over-month changes in the unemployment rate.

The Nebraska jobless rate is 3.6-points higher than a year ago, but Albin says the state’s economy has shown more stability than the other states since the start of the pandemic.

Total non-farm employment in June was a little over 982,000 for a drop of nearly 53,000 jobs from June of last year but an increase of more than 17,000 from May.

The only industry sector with more jobs than last year is mining and construction, which added 1,116. Two sectors showed big jumps for the month as trade, transportation and utilities added almost 8,400 jobs while leisure and hospitality increased by more than 7,600.

The Omaha unemployment rate was 8.1%, a 1.7-point increase from May and 4.8 points higher than a year ago, while LIncoln’s rate of 7.0% was up 1.8-points for the month and 4.8-points from last year.

Grand Island came in at 7.6% for increases of a tenth of a point and 4.3% while the Scottsbluff micropolitan statistical area had a June jobless rate of 6%, 1.7-points above May and 2.2-points more than a year ago.

Statewide figures are adjusted for seasonal factors while the local numbers are not, making comparisons between the 2 meaningless.