One Year Later, Nebraska Labor Force in Good Shape

March 11, 2021, 3:54 p.m. ·

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Today marks one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Nebraska State Commissioner of Labor John Albin recalls the drastic rise of Nebraskans filing for unemployment that followed.

"On the week ending in March 14 of 2020, we only received 796 initial claims and the following week, the week ending March 21, we received 15,666, initial claims," he said. "So that was where we obviously noticed the increase, and then it even peaked out at 26,539 initial claims for the week ending April 4."

Months later, Albin believes Nebraska fared better nationally because there wasn’t a total statewide shutdown. He said as of last month, the state had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.

"Well Nebraska continues to grow," Albin said. "If you look back in December, we had recovered most, not all, but most of the jobs that were lost back in March and April, so that's obviously a positive sign."

The commissioner said the department is optimistic Nebraska will stay in good shape. With more vaccines rolled out, workers will be able to return to work, and employers will continue hiring.