They might surprise you!
A snapshot of industry clusters in non-metro Nebraska can
help reveal the state’s strengths and where to focus our attention for
potential future growth. The industry cluster analysis takes three factors into
account: Average Wages, Location Quotients and Average Annual Employment Growth
Rates. For this analysis, I used a 5-year historical growth rate. Non-Metro Nebraska’s Strengths Lie in food manufacturing,
agriculture, chemical manufacturing and metal & product manufacturing. Here
The biggest factor in identifying strengths is the location quotient. A location quotient EQUAL TO one indicates that the proportion of workers employed in that industry within the study area is roughly equal to the national proportion. A location quotient GREATER THAN one indicates that there is a higher concentration of workers in that industry compared to the U.S., while a location quotient LESS THAN one indicates a lower concentration of workers in that area. Agriculture and food manufacturing have the highest location quotients in our state, but Nebraska also shows strengths in machinery manufacturing, freight transportation, and metal and product manufacturing.
Among those with the strongest location quotients are agriculture, food manufacturing and metal and product manufacturing which showed positive employment growth over the last five years. Machinery manufacturing and freight transportation saw declines in employment. Due to the increasing trend toward automation in many of the processes, I would still consider both machinery manufacturing and freight transportation strengths despite the decline in employment.