Nebraska reports lowest unemployment rate in country, Iowa drops to 10%
Nebraska has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate in May after taking a big hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2% last month. That’s down 3.5 percentage points from the rate of 8.7% in April, when unemployment soared due to coronavirus-related social-distancing restrictions.
The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 13.3%, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points.
The second-lowest unemployment rate was in Utah, with 8.5% unemployed. Wyoming came in third, with 8.8%.
Gov. Pete Ricketts issued a statement in response to the state's rank: “Today’s announcement that Nebraska now has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation is good news for small businesses and hardworking families who have already returned to work,” said Governor Ricketts. “While there is much left to do to get Nebraskans back to work, this data shows that Nebraska is open for business and that people are getting back to a more normal life while protecting our hospital system.”
Iowa’s unemployment rate was 10% in May, down from April but still remarkably high as many businesses and organizations curtailed operations due to the coronavirus.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the May unemployment rate was down from 11% in April but was more than triple the 2.7% rate in May 2019.
Beth Townsend, the director of the agency, noted the number of unemployment claims has declined, indicating more people are returning to work.
The number of unemployed Iowa residents dropped from 188,000 in April to 168,100 in May. The U.S. unemployment rate for May was 13.3%.