Nebraska Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 72,222 employers, up 0.6% from 71,811
  • 964,412 employees, up 0.5% from 960,102
  • $917 average weekly wage, up 2.2% from $897
  • The average weekly wage is 22.6% below the national average
  • The cost of living is 6.7% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 411, which is an increase of 0.6%. The number of employees in Nebraska increased by 4,309, an increase of 0.5%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $20, an increase of 2.2%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 385 or 0.6%. Growth in private businesses in Nebraska grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 5,066 or 0.6%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Nebraska was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $22 or 2.5%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Nebraska grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Healthcare with 15.8% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector declined by 5.9%. Professional services (9.9%), which increased by 3.9% and Construction (9.9%), which increased by 1.5%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Educational services335.6%
Real estate and rental1255.6%
Information444.6%
Professional services2683.9%
Arts and entertainment363.9%
Utilities43.6%
Waste services1173.1%
Wholesale trade971.8%
Agriculture and forestry371.7%
Construction1061.5%
Accommodation and food services641.4%
Transport and warehousing311.2%
Finance and insurance511.1%
Retail trade650.9%
Other services380.8%
Mining and oil extraction10.7%
Manufacturing110.6%
Company management-29-3.5%
Healthcare-715-5.9%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 13.3% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.9% in the last year. Retail trade (10.9%), decreased by 2.0% and Manufacturing (10.3%), increased by 0.8%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Arts and entertainment4273.4%
Transport and warehousing1,2333.1%
Real estate and rental2832.9%
Construction1,1382.4%
Professional services8802.0%
Finance and insurance1,0711.9%
Educational services1911.9%
Utilities191.8%
Agriculture and forestry2181.7%
Accommodation and food services1,0431.4%
Other services2601.1%
Healthcare1,1070.9%
Manufacturing7590.8%
Wholesale trade-200-0.5%
Company management-111-0.5%
Waste services-390-0.8%
Retail trade-2,119-2.0%
Mining and oil extraction-25-2.4%
Information-719-4.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Utilities paying $2,996per week compared with the state average of $915. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $294 or 10.9%. Company management ($1,827), rose by $47 or 2.6% and Finance and insurance ($1,649) increased by $32 or 2.0% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$29410.9%
Healthcare$505.9%
Waste services$385.2%
Real estate and rental$405.0%
Information$493.6%
Educational services$243.0%
Wholesale trade$342.7%
Company management$472.6%
Construction$222.4%
Other services$132.2%
Finance and insurance$322.0%
Professional services$181.4%
Transport and warehousing$111.3%
Accommodation and food services$41.3%
Arts and entertainment$41.1%
Mining and oil extraction$90.9%
Retail trade$30.6%
Manufacturing$-4-0.4%
Agriculture and forestry$-27-3.3%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Nebraska. the industry with the most businesses is Services for the elderly and disabled with 7.7% of the businesses in the state (with 5,591 employing 7,034 workers). The Services for the elderly and disabled industry had 840 fewer businesses, a decline of 13.1% in the last year. Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of businesses) added 50 businesses, an increase of 1.5% and Computer systems design and related services (2.7% of businesses) added 96 businesses, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Packaging and labeling services375.0%
Mobile food services763.6%
Fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers250.0%
Soybean farming150.0%
Business service centers1442.4%
Political organizations741.2%
Industrial design services440.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Offices of real estate agents and brokers10413.0%
Computer systems design and related services965.1%
Restaurants and other eating places501.5%
Accounting and bookkeeping services465.2%
Management consulting services424.6%
Offices of physicians393.8%
Other specialized trucking long-distance319.4%


Employees by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places (4.6% of employees) added 50 employees, an increase of 1.5% and Computer systems design and related services (2.7% ofemployees) added 96 employees, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing30105.9%
Professional employer organizations66100.5%
Metal tank heavy gauge manufacturing19882.4%
Facilities support services9873.9%
Mobile food services1373.0%
Other const. material merchant wholesalers3569.8%
Packaging and labeling services2266.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other outpatient care centers99420.7%
Restaurants and other eating places8891.5%
General warehousing and storage71218.3%
Electrical and wiring contractors6299.2%
Computer systems design and related services4914.2%
Plumbing and hvac contractors4655.5%
Animal slaughtering and processing4601.7%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Restaurants and other eating places ($5) and Computer systems design and related services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Restaurants and other eating places ($5 per week) were paid $50 more per week, an increase of 1.5% and Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $96 more per week, an increase of 5.1% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Packaging and labeling services$22468.1%
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$63950.6%
Rv parks and recreational camps$17543.3%
Jewelry merchant wholesalers$20940.8%
Other const. material merchant wholesalers$49340.8%
Lessors of nonresidential buildings$27340.5%
Metal tank heavy gauge manufacturing$29835.3%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$63950.6%
Other const. material merchant wholesalers$49340.8%
Natural gas distribution$45013.0%
Meat and meat product merchant wholesalers$33125.4%
Metal tank heavy gauge manufacturing$29835.3%
Credit bureaus$27915.6%
Lessors of nonresidential buildings$27340.5%


Company Size

Nebraska Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Nebraska by far. 61.7% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 66,015 small businesses in the state represent 96.3% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Nebraska added 385 businesses in the last year, an increase of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 381 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses declined 2 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.1% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 6 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 5.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Nebraska Employees by Business Size

Nebraska added 15,199 employees in the last year, an increase of 1.9% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 12,379 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 23.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses lost 4,778 employees in the last year, which is a decrease of 1.7% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 7,598 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 6.1% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Nebraska Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

Nebraska workers in every size business are paid less than the national average. The smallest companies in Nebraska (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 18.5% less than the national average ($848 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Nebraska (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 64.1% workers below the national average ($1,166 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $72 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.3% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $77 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.8% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $43 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 1.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.