Nebraska’s unemployment rate falling, but still near Great Recession levels

Nebraska’s unemployment rate falling, but still near Great Recession levels

Following an uptick in unemployment in June, Nebraska’s preliminary July unemployment rate fell to the second-lowest in the country, but the jobless figure is still at historically elevated levels for the state.

While any almost any state would be happy to trade places with Nebraska, the July unemployment rate of 4.8% is closer to the proportion of the workforce that collected unemployment benefits during the Great Recession than it is to a typical year.

The last time Nebraska’s unemployment rate exceeded 4% was in July 2013. This time last year, Nebraska’s unemployment rate was 3.1% and had reached a low of 2.5% as recently as November 2018.

Nebraska and its neighbors are in the top tier of states in the economic recovery, though, with all among the 15 lowest states in July.

Each state in the region also reduced its unemployment rate from June to July. After revising June’s figures, Nebraska’s unemployment rate fell from 5.5% to 4.8%.

Currently, 53,250 Nebraskans are unemployed according to the Nebraska Department of Labor, a 69% increase from February before the pandemic began.

As another bright spot in the report, employment in the leisure and hospitality industries was up by 5,313 jobs over the previous month. That sector was hit hard in the recession, with its workforce shrinking by 28% during the COVID-19 crisis.

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