Nebraska’s Unemployment Rate For January is 3.2 Percent

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Release Date: 3/15/2021

LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for January 2021 is 3.2 percent, seasonally adjusted. The rate is down 0.2 percentage points from the December 2020 revised rate of 3.4 percent and up 0.3 percentage points from the January 2020 rate of 2.9 percent.

“Nebraska employment continues to trend toward prepandemic levels,” said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “At the same time, industries are experiencing normal seasonal fluctuations.” 

Nonfarm employment for January 2021 was 982,350, down 20,794 over the month.  Benchmarked nonfarm employment data will be published on March 26, at which time comparisons to 2020 data will be available.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2021 is 6.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from the December 2020 rate of 6.7 percent and up 2.8 percentage points from the January 2020 rate of 3.5 percent.

Nebraska is among a number of states that saw a significant upward revision to their December unemployment rate. Additionally, 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   

February 2021 Nebraska data will be published Friday, March 26, 2021.  December 2020 and January 2020 unemployment data are provided for comparison purposes only.  Statewide and substate 2019 and 2020 benchmarked data will be published on Friday, April 16.  Benchmarking is the annual process of aligning estimated data from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program with known employment numbers from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program.  It is a necessary step in ensuring the data released by the NDOL is of the highest quality. 

More NDOL press releases are accessible here: https://dol.nebraska.gov/PressRelease