Job Growth Strong in Rural Nebraska

The latest jobs report from the feds is looking rather abysmal, especially after private payroll processing company ADP released a slightly different version of those figures yesterday. This morning the feds are reporting an abysmal 18,000 total jobs created in June; sharply contrasting with ADP’s report that 157,000 private sector jobs created. Talk about schitzophrenia.

In stark contrast to the national reports, the reality is much different in rural Nebraska. The DailyYonder reports that in many rural places, both job creation and unemployment levels are in much better shape than their urban counterparts. Rural Nebraska is sixth in the nation in rural job growth since May 2010, and of those top 10 states producing jobs, second lowest in the nation with 3.6% of rural workers being unemployed. In Valley County, our workforce shortage continues as our unemployment rate holds steady at 2.9%. That’s right, a workforce shortage.

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Even more exciting is that the report released from the Yonder has Valley County producing up to 200 jobs since May 2010. While I don’t think we’re close to the 200, I do think it’s appropriate to say we’re seeing growth in our area as evidenced in the significant investment and loan volume we’ve experienced since January 2011. Since January of this year, just out of the economic development office, we’ve seen record loan volume AND record loans closed for business investment. All told, 2011 looks to be the best year in Valley County since the ethanol plant was constructed.

Back to that strategic workforce shortage thing – yes, we still have many skilled worker needs in the Ord area. You can look at available jobs here, but remember, many of our needs are also in the skilled trades where we have a shortage in the total number of service-oriented businesses. Electricians and welders are two fields to mention specifically.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed a strong ag economy can help us weather the national malaise that doesn’t look to abate anytime soon.



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