Nebraska unemployment rate challenges employers

Nebraska’s new unemployment numbers have came out and they are pretty much unchanged.

The state still sits a bit above 3 percent, which is lower than current national average of 4.7 percent.

However, the low rate does present a unique problem for local companies.

It makes it harder for them to attract talent.

"It just makes things a little more difficult. We have to be a little more competitive among the employers in Lincoln,” Firespring CEO Jay Wilkinson said.

Lincoln’s unemployment was 2.8 percent at the end of last year.

The rate isn’t the best signal for incoming employers.

It usually signals that there are fewer workers for jobs available.

The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce said they work with those businesses to give more data.

It says the figures are not necessarily indicative of the actual workforce like potential area college and university graduates.

"We have ways we approach that and work with companies and have been successful that there is a pipeline of talent,” Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Vice President Pat Haverty said.

Some economic leaders say underemployment is a bigger problem than unemployment in Lincoln.

There are about 3,000 to 4,000 jobs currently open in Lincoln and we’ve seen an increase of 15,000 over the past five years.

"It’s hard to reach and find employees when they’re not necessarily looking for you,” Wilkinson said.

Both Firespring and the chamber said even with these low rates, local job seekers and future corporations should know that there are still opportunities in the capital city.