The Nebraska Department of Labor is out with the jobless rate report for the month of April and Commissioner Catherine Lang says it is steady as she goes.
“I think at first blush, people would say well thank goodness the rate went up in March and stayed the same in April, how is that good news? But underlying the number is a steady and significant increase in the number people, citizens in Nebraska, coming back into the labor force and most importantly, especially for April, we have seen a significant increase in the part of the formula that contains the employed number of citizens and that has gone up just over 1800 people.”
Lang says the rate for April held steady at 5%, as it was in March. In February the rate was at 4.8%. Lang says there are three primary sectors that saw an increase in the number of job hires.
“Construction and that is seasonal but we are also glad to see it. I think our concern was would we see that seasonal increase in construction and we are. The other is trade, transportation and utilities and the increase in that sector is occurring primarily in wholesale trade. And lastly, which is an indication of what is going on with our general population, our citizens across the state is an increase in the restaurant sector which may be indicating we may be going back out to the restaurants, we are feeling more comfortable where we are from an economic standpoint and restaurant sector has hired more workers.”
Lang says there is more good news. Activity at state labor force offices is up.
“Across the state, again we have seen an increase in the job orders that our employer communality has requested from staff at the career centers so statewide again, job orders are up.”
Lang says the rate for April is point-four percentage points higher than April of 2009. Nebraska ranks third in the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. North Dakota has the lowest rate followed by South Dakota.