Nebraska unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9 pct

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2009 1:14 PM

Nebraska's unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent in October even as the national rate crept up to 10.2 percent.

The figures released Friday show the Nebraska unemployment rate is the second-lowest in the nation after North Dakota's 4.2 percent.

The Nebraska Department of Labor estimates the state rate did not change from September's 4.9 percent, but the October 2009 unemployment rate is 1.3 percentage points higher than it was in October 2008.

Nebraska Labor Commissioner Catherine Lang said the latest figures are encouraging.

"Nebraska's economy appears to be starting on the road to recovery," Lang said. "We continue to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and the numbers of layoffs and business closures have started to slow down as well."

Education and health services companies added 2,593 jobs last month, but that remained the only private sector to report a net increase in jobs.

Nebraska's seasonally adjusted labor force in October included 979,412 people. Of those, 47,987 were listed as unemployed, which is 375 lower than the revised September figures and 12,315 higher than September 2008.

The state says the only labor market where the unemployment rate increased last month was Beatrice. The rates fell in every other labor market.

Omaha's estimated unemployment rate dipped to 4.8 percent in October from a revised 4.9 percent in September. The rate was 3.5 percent in October 2008.

Lincoln's estimated unemployment rate slipped to 4.2 percent in October from a revised 4.3 percent in September. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 2.9 percent.

Unemployment rates for Omaha and Lincoln are not seasonally adjusted and are not compared with the state unemployment rate.