LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s unemployment dropped slightly last month to 3.1%, down 0.1 percentage point from January and marking the third-lowest rate in the nation, according to a state Department of Labor report released Friday.
The February rate was 0.1 percentage point higher than February a year ago, which marked the last month prior to lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nebraska employment has recovered significantly since April, which was the peak for employment losses due to the pandemic, Nebraska Labor Commissioner John Albin said.
“Since April 2020, the number of nonfarm jobs has increased by over 50,000," Albin said. “We are seeing gains statewide across a broad range of industry sectors.”
Nebraska came in just behind Utah's 3.0% rate for February and South Dakota's best-in-the-nation 2.9%.
Nonfarm employment was up 3,680 over the month, but down 31,020 over the year. Private industries with the most growth year over year were education and health services, professional and business services, and manufacturing.
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February is is 6.2%, down 0.1 percentage point from the January rate and up 2.7 percentage points from February a year ago.
The Omaha area unemployment rate came in at 3.9%, while the Lincoln area’s rate was 3.6% and the Grand Island area’s was also 3.9% for the month. Unemployment rates for Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island have not been seasonally adjusted and cannot be directly compared with the state unemployment rate.