National study predicts Nebraska’s future unemployment rate

By: - July 2, 2022 3:00 am

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Nebraska’s latest unemployment rate was 1.9% — which continues to be a record low for Nebraska, currently is the lowest of states in the country, and ties the record low for any state ever.

A new study that looks at the future predicts that Nebraska in five years will have an even lower unemployment rate, 1.8%, that’s projected to clock in then as second lowest in the country.

The research by Lensa, an online job search and recruitment site, looked at the unemployment figures of each state over the last decade to come up with trajectories and predictions for places most likely to have the highest number of people out of work in 2027.

Nebraska tied with Alabama for the second-lowest predicted unemployment rate among the states. The Lensa analysis said Alabama has seen the biggest average annual decline during the 10 years reviewed. It said Nebraska’s unemployment generally decreased, as well, but had a few upticks.

“Historically unemployment in Nebraska has been low thanks to the high number of essential jobs in industries such as agriculture and a lower population creating less competition for jobs,” the study said.

Historic streak for Nebraska employment

Utah had the lowest predicted unemployment rate, 1.4%, as it has reported a steady decrease in unemployment. According to the study, that decline “could be the result of the rapid expansion of Utah’s labor force against a slower increase in job creation.”

Lensa predicted also that in five years Hawaii, New York and New Mexico would have the highest unemployment rates at, respectively, 7.7%, 7.5% and 7%.

Nebraska’s Department of Labor reported earlier this month that the state’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 1.9%. That was unchanged from the month before and was down from 2.5% in May 2021.

Unemployment rates:

Nebraska, 1.9%

Minnesota, 2.0%

Utah, 2.0%

New Hampshire, 2.1%

Indiana, 2.2%

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May seasonally adjusted estimates

Nationally, the seasonally adjusted rate for May was 3.6%, unchanged from the month before and down from the 5.8% in May 2021.

“Nebraska has seen 11 straight months of historically high employment levels,” State Labor Commissioner John Albin said. 

He said more than 1 million Nebraskans have been employed since August 2020. The counts of employed and unemployed are based on a Census Bureau survey. People claiming unemployment benefits as well as those not claiming can be counted as unemployed based on their survey responses.

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


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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.