Nebraska Jobless Rate Jumps Record 1.3-Points To 4.2%

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped a record 1.3-points last month to 4.2% as the impact of the coronavirus began to take effect. The 4.2% is 1.1-point higher than March of last year.

State Labor Commissioner John Albin says state unemployment rate data goes back to 1976 and had never registered a 1.3-point jump in a single month before this, adding that it’s been since November and December 2011 that the jobless rate reached 4.2%.

Albin says the unemployment rate is certain to increase again in the April report because of the layoffs and closures caused by the coronavirus social distancing guidelines.

The industry sectors impacted the most by the virus are accommodation and food service, which had 16,596 initial claims last month, health care and social assistance 10,856 and trade with 10,032.

The March unemployment rate in Omaha was 4.4%, up 1.3-points from February and 9-10ths of a point higher that last year, while Lincoln came in at 3.8% for an increase of 1.2-points for the month and 8-10ths for the year.

Grand Island posted a 4.7% rate, up 1.2-points for both 1 and 12 months, and the Scottsbluff micropolitan statistical area had a jobless rate of 4.9%, going up 1.4-points from February and 7-10ths of a point from a year ago.

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

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