LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for August is 4.0 percent, seasonally adjusted. The rate is the lowest in the nation according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The rate is down by 0.9 percentage points from the revised July 2020 rate of 4.9 percent and is up 0.9 percentage points from the August 2019 rate of 3.1 percent. The BLS has temporarily suspended the data smoothing process in all states, which has contributed to greater volatility in the reported month over month changes.
“The last time Nebraska’s rate was at this level was in March of this year, which was the start of the pandemic,” said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “The drop in the unemployment rate correlates with a decline in continued unemployment claims, so it appears that Nebraska is still on a path to economic recovery.”
August preliminary total nonfarm employment (number of jobs) was 991,104, down by 37,504 over the year and up by 4,084 over the month. The only private industry with growth year over year was financial activities (up 676). Month to month, the largest gains were seen in leisure and hospitality (up 2,659), financial activities (up 586), and education and health (up 568).
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August is 8.4 percent, a decrease of 1.8 percentage points from the July 2020 rate of 10.2 percent and up 4.7 percentage points from the August 2019 rate of 3.7 percent.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued the following statement regarding claims data and unemployment estimates:
“Data users must be cautious about trying to compare or reconcile the UI claims data with the official unemployment figures gathered through the household survey. The unemployment data derived from the household survey in no way depend upon the eligibility for or receipt of UI benefits. In some cases, UI claims data exclude people who would be identified as unemployed in the household survey, like new entrants to the labor force with no prior work experience. In other cases, UI data may include individuals who do not meet the CPS definition of unemployment.”
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and unemployment data can be found on the BLS website www.bls.gov/bls/bls-covid-19-questions-and-answers.htm
September 2020 Nebraska data will be published Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
More NDOL press releases are accessible here: https://dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease