Nebraska, Iowa unemployment rates rise slightly in October

Nebraska's and Iowa's unemployment have gradually risen
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 11:36 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Unemployment rates in Nebraska and Iowa rose slightly in the last month, but each state has reached a new milestone.

According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, October’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 2.4%, up 0.2% from September’s rate of 2.2%.

The rate has fluctuated gradually over the year. Nebraska’s unemployment rate is up 0.5% since June of 2022. Unemployment rose gradually from its record-low 1.9% in June to 2.4% in October.

October’s unemployment rate is also the same as this time last year in October 2021.

Despite the slight increase in unemployment, state officials say nonfarm employment has seen improvement.

“Total nonfarm employment reached a record high of 1,044,832 in October,” said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “That’s over 2,000 more filled jobs than the prior high reached in June of this year.”

Industries that saw the most month-to-month growth were trade, transportation and utilities; education and health services; and mining and construction.

In Iowa, the unemployment rate also rose slightly from 2.7% in September to 2.9% in October.

State officials in Iowa say the increase in unemployment is due to more than 2,200 residents joining the labor force, but employers adding 4,500 jobs.

Despite Iowa’s increase in unemployment, labor force participation is holding steady at 67.7%. Officials also say the total number of employed Iowa residents is still higher now than it was one year ago in October 2021.

Iowa Workforce Development says the state has also hit a milestone: Regaining all the jobs lost during the pandemic.

“Strong hiring across the state, including in October, has helped Iowa regain a total of 170,700 jobs - overcoming the 169,800 jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development.

The national unemployment rate for October 2022 is 3.7%.

Nebraska currently ranks as fifth-best in the nation for low unemployment, and Iowa ranks thirteenth-best. Minnesota and Utah are tied for the lowest unemployment rate at 2.1%.