Two Nebraska cities lead U.S. in bouncing back from pandemic unemployment

Two Nebraska cities lead U.S. in bouncing back from pandemic unemployment

September 1, 2021 0 By Ted O Neil

An updated study from WalletHub shows that two Nebraska cities – Lincoln and Omaha – lead the nation in bouncing back from unemployment woes that plagued the entire country during the coronavirus pandemic.

WalletHub looked at the top 180 cities to see where economic recovery is occurring. The financial analytics company used four key metrics to find out where workers have been the least and most impacted by the virus.

They looked at the change in each city’s unemployment rate for June, which is the last month available, then compared that to June 2019, January 2020 and June 2020.

The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said the nation’s unemployment rate for June was 5.9%. That is slightly higher than the 5.7% unemployment rate in May, but 60% lower than at the height of the pandemic.

The BLS, however, did disclose that it misclassified some workers on temporary layoffs as “absent from work because of other reasons” rather than as unemployed. That means the unemployment rate for June could actually be as much as 3%higher.

In taking the top spot, Lincoln had the lowest overall unemployment rate for June at 2.6%. That is nearly 17% lower than its June 2019 rate and 10% below its January 2020 rate.

While some cities had slightly better June unemployment rates than Omaha’s 3.3%, it ranks second when taking all of the metrics into account. Omaha’s June rate is 5.9% better than June 2019 and 5.8% below January 2020.

Two New Hampshire cities – Manchester and Nashua – which ranked first and second in WalletHub’s May analysis, fell to fourth and fifth, respectively, for June due to slight upticks in unemployment.

Nebraska is one of 25 states, primarily led by Republican governors, that have ended participation in the federal pandemic unemployment program that pays displaced workers an additional $300 per week on top of state unemployment benefits.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced in May that the Cornhusker State would exit the program on June 19 as he rescinded the last of his emergency orders.

Nebraska continues to have the lowest unemployment rate of any state, at 5.1%, but Ricketts at the time noted there were still 39,000 unfilled jobs on the state’s online job portal.

Ricketts said, as have most governors in states ending the federal program ahead of its Sept. 6 deadline, that the additional money has been a disincentive to people finding work.

This article was originally posted on Two Nebraska cities lead U.S. in bouncing back from pandemic unemployment