The rebound from the precipitous rise in unemployment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing short of remarkable. Before the virus had spread widely, the jobless rate in America was 3.5% in February 2020, a five-decade low. It soared to 14.7% in April, as 2.5 million people lost their jobs. The jobs report just released–THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — NOVEMBER 2021–showed unemployment was a low 4.2% as the economy added 210,000 jobs in the month.
Unemployment rates vary substantially from city to city and state to state. In Logan, UT only 1.1% of the labor force is unemployed. In El Centro, CA, the rate is 17.1%.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released its STATE EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT — NOVEMBER 2021 report. The top line summary was that “Unemployment rates were lower in November in 40 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 10 states, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The state with the highest unemployment rate was California at 6.9%. Because it has the largest population among all states, this means 1,321,263 were out of work.
Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate at 1.8%. That is a total of only 18,127 people. The state’s largest employers are dominated by several with very stable businesses. These include healthcare companies Nebraska Medicine and Methodist Health System, and financial firms which include Fiserv, Mutual of Omaha, TD Ameritrade, and First National Bank. One of North America’s largest railroads, Union Pacific Railroad, is also a large employer.
In a reflection of how extraordinary the figure is KPVI reported: “Not only is the unemployment rate the lowest ever recorded in Nebraska, it’s also the lowest rate recorded by any state in records that go back to 1976.”