At the end of June, the Nebraska Department of Labor updated its latest preliminary unemployment rates for the state and its counties for the month of May, with Washington County's unemployment rate falling along with the entire state.
According to the Department of Labor website, Washington County's preliminary unemployment rate for May was 4.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, with 458 of 11,199 people in the labor force unemployed. The department of labor defines the number of people in the labor force, in part, by the number of non-institutionalized people age 16 or older who are either employed or unemployed but actively searching for work.
In May 2019, the county's unemployment rate was 2.8 percent.
In April, the county's official unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. According to the economic data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Washington County's unemployment rate in April was the highest it's been since January 2010 when it was 5.7 percent.
Washington County's unemployment rate in March was 4.2 percent. In February, before Directed Health Measure restrictions such as for restaurants, bars, churches and hair salons were put in place, the unemployment rate was 2.9 percent. Restrictions were in place for part of March and the whole month of April before relaxations began May 11 and continued in June.
Nebraska's preliminary unemployment rate in May was 5.1 percent. In May 2019, the unemployment rate in the state was 3 percent. The state's official unemployment rate in April was 8.6 percent. In March, it was 4.2 percent and in February it was 3 percent.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska had the lowest unemployment rate in the country in May at over three percent less than the next lowest state, Utah.
In addition to unemployment rates, statistics from the department of labor also indicate a rise in unemployment claims in Washington County from mid-March to mid-April. On March 21, 116 unemployment claims were made by county residents. That number rose to a peak of 217 claims by April 11, but has since decreased. On June 27, 10 unemployment claims were filed.