Nebraska monthly unemployment rate remains the same, while the nation’s rises

By: - September 19, 2023 2:17 pm

Shown here is a trend line over the past year for Nebraska’s unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted. (Courtesy of Nebraska Department of Labor)

LINCOLN — While the nation’s unemployment rate inched up, Nebraska’s remained the same in August compared to the month before, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by state and federal labor officials.

Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2% for August compares to the U.S. average of 3.8%, which is an increase from the previous month’s 3.5%.

That 2% puts Nebraska at No. 6 among states for the lowest rate, and it also represents a drop from the state’s 2.6% unemployment rate of a year ago.

State unemployment rates

Maryland, 1.7

New Hampshire, 1.8

Vermont, 1.8 

North Dakota, 1.9

South Dakota, 1.9

Nebraska, 2.0

U.S., 3.8

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, preliminary and seasonally adjusted for August

For perspective, Nebraska’s 10-year average unemployment rate is 3.1%, according to state labor force analysts. The high of 8.1% came in April 2020, as the pandemic ramped up.

Statewide, the unemployment rate for counties, not adjusted for the season, varied from 1.2% in Grant County to 3.3% in Blaine County.

The unemployment rate is based on a Census Bureau survey and represents the number of unemployed persons as a share of the labor force. Unemployed persons are defined as those 16 and older who had no job during the survey period, but who were available for employment and actively seeking work.

Overall, the state’s labor force of 1.06 million people — the labor force includes employed workers as well as unemployed people looking for jobs — remained about the same over the past year, Labor Commissioner John Albin noted in a media release.

“While the size of the labor force is steady over the year, the number of employed workers is up 6,191 over last August, and the number of unemployed workers is down 5,898,” Albin said.

Private industries with the most growth in Nebraska since last August were leisure and hospitality services (up 4,353 jobs) and private education and health services (up 3,790 jobs).


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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.