Initial unemployment claims climbed last week in Nebraska, and for the first time in months, continuing claims also climbed.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, Nebraskans filed 2,895 initial claims for unemployment for the week ending Saturday. That was up more than 500 from the previous weeks.
After surging in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, initial claims in the state have fallen most weeks, although there have been several weeks, especially in the past couple of months, where they have bounced back and forth between increases and decreases.
Continuing claims, on the other hand, have declined nearly every week since early in the summer.
According to the Labor Department, continuing claims in Nebraska were 11,468 for the week ending Nov. 28, up 170 from the previous week's revised total. Continuing claims data lags data on initial claims by a week.
Eric Thompson, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said the increase in continuing claims is normal and not a sign that the economy is worsening.
"Nebraska has recovered a significant share of employment lost during the March and April 2020 period. This means that the unemployment rate and continuing claims for unemployment insurance in Nebraska will decline at a slower pace," Thompson said in an email. "With a slower ongoing decline, unemployment and continuing claims for unemployment insurance will sometimes rise during specific weekly or monthly periods."
The Nebraska claims numbers mirrored those nationally. Initial unemployment claims rose by 137,000 last week to 853,000, while continuing claims were nearly 5.76 million, up 230,000 from the previous week.