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April 4, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Darl Naumann, Economic Development Coordinator, 441-7514


Mayor Don Wesely today released a recent CNN-Money Magazine article listing Lincoln as one of the best places for jobs in the country.

The Mayor said this reemphasizes that Lincoln’s economy is doing very well. In comparison to other cities, Lincoln’s unemployment rate is very low.

“The fact is Lincoln’s average unemployment rate as cited in the CNN-Money Magazine article is about one-half of the national rate, and we are creating more jobs in the City of Lincoln,” said Wesely. “The employment, construction and sales tax revenue numbers we released this week are hard statistics provided by the Nebraska Departments of Labor and Revenue and the City Building and Safety Department.”

Figures from the Nebraska Department of Labor show that the annual average number of people employed in the Lincoln MSA (metropolitan statistical area) rose from 141,672 in 2001 to 148,013 in 2002, an increase of 6,341. The January 2003 figures from the Nebraska Department of Labor are not annualized, but show the number employed at 151,573.

Lincoln’s average unemployment rate over the past twelve months is 2.9 percent, fifth lowest in the country among cities of similar size. (Other cities of similar population identified in the CNN-Money Magazine article are Madison, Wisconsin; Lubbock, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut.)

“The monthly unemployment figure for Lincoln does fluctuate, but the fact remains that we have more people working in Lincoln now than ever before,” said Mayor Wesely. “We have more people working, and the City’s population is growing, which makes our job creation efforts even more important.”

Other positive economic statistics release this week:

  • According to the City Building and Safety Department, the value of construction permits issued in Lincoln this fiscal year is 54 percent higher than at this point last fiscal year.
  • According to the Nebraska Department of Revenue, net City sales tax collections for March were up 16.65 percent compared to the same month last year. The net sales tax revenue is up 11.75 percent for the first seven months of this fiscal year, which began September 1. Net sales tax revenue for March was $4,059,342, which is $465,529 higher than what the City had projected.

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