The latest numbers by the Nebraska Department of Labor shows the unemployment rate increased slightly during the month of March. Director of Administrative Services with the Nebraska Department of Labor, Terry Johnston tells us the latest numbers.
“Nebraska’s preliminary seasonally state unemployment rate increased to five-point-zero percent in March. The rate reflects an increase of point-two percentage points from last month. We were at four-point-eight percent last month.”
Johnston says the slight increase is likely due to people not previously seeking employment. Those individuals have now entered the job market.
“We are generally attributing that to people re-entering the labor force who previously were not seeking jobs.”
Johnston further explains what that means.
“And just to clarify the folks that are re-entering the labor force who were previously not seeking jobs, it could be military transitioning out of the service. It could be college graduates who are not currently employed. It could be those who were just discouraged and not seeking jobs for the last little while.”
Johnston says there are several encouraging signs. Several industry sectors experienced job growth during the month of March.
“Education, health and government pretty much across the state. We have seen an increase in the number of new job orders posted by employers in our career centers and we feel the fact that people are re-entering the labor force who were not seeking jobs and the fact we have more job postings is very encouraging.”
Nebraska’s two largest cities unemployment rate basically stayed the same.
“Omaha’s unemployment remains steady at 5.0%. It is not seasonally adjusted. Lincoln’s preliminary rate was 4.9-percent and that dropped slightly. And again, that is not seasonally adjusted.”
Johnston reminds Nebraskans that the state continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. The National rate for the month of March was 9.7%.