March 26, 2021
LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for February 2021 is 3.1 percent, seasonally adjusted. The rate is down 0.1 percentage points from the January 2021 rate of 3.2 percent and up 0.1 percentage points from the February 2020 rate of 3.0 percent.
“Since April 2020, the number of nonfarm jobs has increased by over 50,000, said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “We are seeing gains statewide across a broad range of industry sectors.”
Nonfarm employment was 987,408 in February, up 3,680 over the month and down 31,020 over the year. Private industries with the most growth month to month were education and health services (up 1,836), professional and business services (up 1,392), and manufacturing (up 710).
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2021 is 6.2 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from the January rate of 6.3 percent, and up 2.7 percentage points from the February 2020 rate of 3.5 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
March 2021 data will be published Friday, April 16, 2021. February 2020 labor force data is provided for comparison purposes only. Statewide and sub-state benchmarked labor force data will be published on Friday, April 16, 2021. Benchmarked nonfarm employment data is now available. 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. Benchmarking is a necessary step in ensuring the data released by the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) is of the highest quality.