Nebraska preliminary March jobless rate drops to 3.1 percent

Posted April 23, 2017

Statewide, March's unemployment rate remained at 4.4 percent, the same as in February, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The agency says IN lost 1,500 private sector jobs over the month, primarily due to the loss of 4,400 positions IN professional and business services and 1,400 construction jobs. Construction, education, healthcare, trade, transportation and utilities trades saw the biggest growth.

That's slightly lower than March 2016, when the state reported a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

Locally, eight of the 10 private sector industry groups measured in the report posted net job increases in March compared to a year ago. The labor force includes the employed and those seeking work.

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The unemployment rate, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said, is the lowest it has been since May 2008 and is below the national rate.

According to the release, the Commonwealth has the second-lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among major US states.

According to a separate state survey of businesses, total nonfarm payroll jobs were constant from February to March, with private sector jobs increasing by 100 and government payrolls decreasing by 100.

"This month's labor report shows good news for Kansas with improvement in many key indicators, including a drop in the unemployment rate to under 4 percent" said Kansas Secretary of Labor Lana Gordon.

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In March, Florida created new non-agricultural jobs at a 3 percent clip, compared to 2 percent in Miami-Dade.

Six counties experienced unemployment rates above 6 percent: Clearwater, at 9 percent; Adams, at 7.1 percent; Shoshone and Lewis, at 7 percent each; Benewah, at 6.9 percent; and Lemhi, at 6 percent, the report said. In the four-county Sacramento region, the unemployment rate was 5.0 percent, also down one-tenth of a percent. Employers across the state have opened up about 60,600 more jobs since March 2016.

Low unemployment rates should eventually lead to wage increases, some economists say. Jobs requiring specialized skills are struggling even more, experts said.

New Mexico had the highest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, followed by Alaska at 6.4 percent, Alabama at 5.8 percent, Louisiana at 5.7 percent and Georgia at 5.1 percent.

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"The economic recovery is finally washing across Maine's shores", said Michael Donihue, an economics professor at Colby College. North Carolina hit a low of 4.9 percent unemployment last June and July, and had not attained that level earlier since September 2007, before the great recession.