Jobless rates in Nebraska, Iowa are lowest since 2008

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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 12:00 am

Unemployment fell in Nebraska and Iowa in April to levels not seen since late 2008, even as the labor force grew in both states.

Nebraska’s unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal fluctations, fell to 3.7 percent, down from 3.8 percent the previous four months and from 4 percent in April a year ago.

Labor commissioner Catherine Lang said the rate hasn’t been that low since November 2008.

One contributing factor was the 3.2 percent growth in manufacturing jobs over the year, which Lang called “another good sign for Nebraska’s economy.”

All nonfarm employment grew by 2,403 jobs over the year, an increase of 0.3 percent.

Iowa’s jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point from March to 4.7 percent in April, down from 5.2 percent a year ago and its lowest since December 2008.

“The statewide labor force also grew for the fourth consecutive month, a sign that individuals are feeling more confident about the job market,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. Nebraska’s labor force also grew, by 0.4 percent.

Iowa saw gains in education and health services, gaining 1,700 jobs in April, and in manufacturing, gaining 700, among other fields.

Nebraska maintained its position with the second-lowest rate in the nation behind North Dakota’s 3.3 percent, and Iowa is now tied with Utah for fifth-lowest. Nevada has the highest unemployment at 9.6 percent. The national unemployment rate in April was 7.5 percent.

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