Until recently, North Dakota held the position as the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. Now, however, Nebraska has earned that title. According to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska’s jobless rate fell to 2.7 percent in January while North Dakota’s rested at 2.9 percent.
USA Today reported that Nebraska is no stranger to this position, though the state has not been No. 1 in low unemployment since the late 1990s. With oil prices up in the air, however, North Dakota felt the effect on its central industry, allowing Nebraska to claim first place. The state created jobs in a number of sectors to earn the top spot. The education and health care sectors added 3,430 positions, leisure and hospitality grew by over 2,000 and other services accumulated 1,920 more positions.
Overall, the entire state felt the positive impact of job creation. All of Nebraska’s major metropolitan areas, including Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island, experienced notable expansion to their work forces. The Lincoln Journal Star noted that urban job growth exceeded rural labor improvements, which is significant for a largely agricultural state.