May 20, 2024

Nebraska unemployment rate remains steady at 2.5%, compared to the nation’s 3.9%

Posted May 20, 2024 2:00 PM

Cindy Gonzalez

Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s unemployment rate has remained steady for the past eight months, again coming in at 2.5% in April, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Nebraska Department of Labor.

That compares to 3.9% for the nation, which has seen its preliminary and seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rise from 3.8% a month earlier and 3.4% a year ago.

Nebraska’s unemployment rate is the fourth lowest in the nation, with North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont recording lower rates in April.

(While Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate earlier was reported to have dipped lower than 2.5% in the later months of 2023, rates were revised upward a bit in the Labor Department’s annual benchmarking process, which explains the eight-month “unchanged” streak reported Friday.)

Also notable this month, said Labor Commissioner John Albin, is that the number of filled jobs in Nebraska’s nonfarm sector reached an all-time high last month of 1,063,738 — up about 0.7% from a month earlier and 1.8% up from a year earlier.

“This was driven by record highs in Omaha and Lincoln of 516,399 and 198,570, respectively,”  he said of the nonseasonally adjusted data.

Private industries reporting the most growth since last year were private education and health services.

The number of employed and unemployed persons in the labor force is based on surveying by the Census Bureau on employment status. Individuals who are claiming unemployment benefits and those who are not claiming unemployment benefits both can be counted as unemployed, depending on their response to the survey. 

Those who are not working and not seeking work are not considered part of the labor force and are not included in the unemployment rate calculation.