There are Nearly 2 Job Listings for Every Person in Nebraska

Sept. 15, 2021, 4 p.m. ·

classifieds section of a newspaper
For a few months now, Nebraska has held the title of the lowest unemployment in the country. (Photo by Ryan Robertson, Nebraska Public Media News)

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Nebraska has the second largest labor shortage in the country, according to a new study from Career Cloud.

There are 1.8 job openings for every unemployed person in the state, the study found, meaning there are more jobs than currently available people to work them. Washington D.C. is the only place with a higher figure, posting a rate of 2.37. For the study by Career Cloud, which is a website that helps job seekers, the organization compiled stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and major jobs boards – like Indeed and ZipRecruiter.

“We found that, regardless of reasons for the businesses having difficulty filling these open jobs, the truth is that the picture really varies from state to state," said Macy Sarbacker, an editor at Career Cloud.

For a few months now, Nebraska has held the title of the lowest unemployment in the country. The state's unemployment rate stands at 2.3%. With as few unemployed as there are in the state, there shouldn’t be so many unfilled jobs, right? Well, maybe, but, there could be some other factors at play.

“Maybe it’s population. Maybe it is skill gaps," Sarbacker said. "Unfortunately, I’m unsure of why that exactly is.”

Skills needed for particular jobs could prevent those positions from being filled, Sarbacker said, but they are definitely out there. The current employment situation Nebraska is probably close to what some economists would call full-employment – where everyone who is willing and able to work is doing so.

For those businesses struggling to hire, Sarbacker recommends hiking wages, being flexible with remote work and parental leave, in addition to incentivizing commuting for jobs that need to be in-person.