Economic Tidbits

Job Number Down in Nebraska

Employment Changes in Nebraksa

The Kansas City Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank published its latest edition of The Nebraska Economic Databook on November 9. Compiled by Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president and Omaha branch executive, the report provides a snapshot of jobs in Nebraska’s economy.

Nebraska’s unemployment rate in September was 3.5 percent, higher than last year’s rate of 3.0 percent, but considerably less than the rate for the rest of the country, 7.9 percent. Seventeen counties had unemployment rates at or above the statewide average, led by Hall and Arthur Counties with rates of 5.2 percent. Fifty-five counties had unemployment rates of less than 3 percent with Keya Paha having the lowest rate at 1.1 percent.

Total Nebraska jobs numbered just a tad over 1 million in September, off 2.5 percent compared to last year. The largest job increases occurred in federal government (8.2 percent) and healthcare (2.6 percent), no doubt due to COVID-19 (Figure 3). Financial activities also saw an increase in jobs compared to last year of 1.5 percent. All other sectors employed fewer Nebraskans this year compared to last. Leisure and hospitality saw the biggest declines losing nearly 14 percent of its labor force, clearly due to COVID-19. In all, there were 26,100 fewer jobs in September 2020 compared to September 2019.

Total personal income in the state was 9.5 percent greater in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year (Figure 4). However, this is entirely due to transfer payments, up 70 percent compared to last year. All other sources of income are off compared to 2019. Transfer payments in the second quarter made up 24 percent of all personal income.

Figure 3. Employment Changes in Nebraska

Employment Changes in Nebraksa

Source: The Nebraska Economic Databook, Nathan Kauffman, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Nov. 9, 2020.

Figure 4. Changes in Personal Income, Nebraska & U.S.

Changes in Personal Incolme Nebraska US

Source: The Nebraska Economic Databook, Nathan Kauffman, Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Nov. 9, 2020.

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