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Nebraska unemployment rate hits all-time low for second straight month

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Posted at 9:50 PM, May 23, 2022

Nebraska’s latest unemployment rate of 1.9% represented an all-time low for the second straight month, and that April level remains tied for the lowest reached by any state in history.

That’s according to the State Department of Labor’s preliminary and seasonally adjusted report, released Friday.

The April rate is down from the March 2022 rate of 2.0% and down also from the April 2021 rate of 2.6%.

Only Utah has ever dropped to such a level, tying with Nebraska for the record low, state officials said. (Unemployment data go back to 1976.)

States with lowest unemployment rates*:

  • Nebraska, 1.9%
  • Utah, 1.9%
  • Indiana, 2.2%
  • Minnesota, 2.2%
  • Montana, 2.3%
  • New Hampshire, 2.3%
  • South Dakota, 2.3%
  • Kansas, 2.4%
  • Vermont, 2.5%
  • Idaho, 2.6%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

*April preliminary, seasonally adjusted

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 3.6%. That’s unchanged from the month before and down 2.4 percentage points from the April 2021 rate of 6.0%.

The State Labor Department reports also that Nebraska’s preliminary employment for April reached an all-time high of 1.04 million people working.

“The number of employed workers in the labor force has been at historically high levels since July of 2021,” Labor Commissioner John Albin said. “The Omaha metro reached a record high employment level at nearly half a million in April, and the Lincoln metro has seen record highs for two straight months.”

Gov. Pete Ricketts lauded the employment picture, saying in a statement that Nebraska leads the nation in per-capita employment, with 69 out of 100 adults actively working. He said that compares with a national rate of 60 out of 100 adults employed.

Private industries with most growth

A different Census Bureau survey — based not on households but on nonfarm businesses and their payroll job counts — shows the number of filled jobs in the state at 1.028 million in April. That’s up 10,245 over the month before and up 25,052 over the prior year.

Private industries with the most growth, year to year, were trade, transportation and utilities (up 7,262); leisure and hospitality (up 5,828); and education and health services (up 3,818).

The number of employed and unemployed in the labor force are based on Census Bureau surveys. Both those individuals who are claiming unemployment benefits and those who are not claiming can be counted as unemployed based on their survey responses. People who are not working and are not seeking work are not considered part of the labor force and therefore are not included in the unemployment rate calculation.

Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nebraska Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Cate Folsom for questions: Follow Nebraska Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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