The unemployment situation in the Midlands has made little improvement so far in 2012.
In July, joblessness in Nebraska ticked up to 4 percent from 3.9 percent in June. And in Iowa, the unemployment rate increased to 5.3 percent from 5.1 percent during the same period.
The unemployment uptick in July show both states have made little improvement during the year. The July rates leave both states within one-tenth of a percentage point of where they started the year in January.
The lack of progress isn't surprising for a number of reasons, said Eric Thompson, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln economist.
During most major recessions, the recovery period typically includes a significant amount of labor-mismatch, meaning the jobs that companies are looking to fill don't align with the kinds of workers in the labor pool. Currently, Thompson said, there are significant shortfalls in skilled blue collar workers, like steam fitters and welders, and also commercial truck drivers.