Strong industrial sector to boost Nebraska economy

Monday, June 25, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Thanks to an assist from a stronger industrial sector, Nebraska will record solid economic growth through 2020 — though the state's farm economy will continue to limp along.

The manufacturing, construction and service industries will lead the way in adding jobs and expanding the state’s economy, according to the new long-term forecast from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Bureau of Business Research and the Nebraska Business Forecast Council.

This will also raise non-farm income in the state. Non-farm income will grow between 3.6 and 3.8 percent each year, according to Eric Thompson, economist and director of the Bureau of Business Research.

“This growth is sufficient to exceed inflation and population growth, meaning real per capita income in Nebraska will grow from 2018 to 2020,” Thompson said.

Manufacturing in Nebraska is experiencing its strongest growth since the Great Recession of 2008, and the forecast predicts the manufacturing sector will add 2,800 jobs over the next three years. Non-durable goods manufacturing will add most of those jobs, augmented by a new poultry facility slated to open in Fremont in 2019.

Thompson and his colleagues predict that durable goods manufacturing will expand more slowly because of a sluggish farm economy and a skilled worker shortage.

“In particular, implement manufacturers will be affected by weak domestic demand due to stagnant farm incomes,” Thompson said.

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