News Conference Call: Economic Barriers Block Nebraska’s Path to Job & Population Growth

News Conference Call: Economic Barriers Block Nebraska’s Path to Job & Population Growth

While Nebraska’s economy stood strong in many respects throughout the Great Recession, lower than average job and population growth is still holding too many people back from living the Good Life. But policymakers can look across the country to see which states are removing barriers to economic opportunity. That’s one of the findings in Removing Barriers in Nebraska, a Platte Institute policy brief series based on research by Russell S. Sobel, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship at The Citadel.

The first of six reports in the series: Why Growing Nebraska Matters is now available at A conference call to discuss the release is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. CT. Platte Institute CEO Jim Vokal and Policy Director Sarah Curry will be available on the call. To call in, dial (605) 475-4000, Access Code: 106202#. The call may be recorded for broadcast.

Here are two graphics showing how Nebraska's 2004-2014 employment and population growth compared nationally:


In Why Growing Nebraska Matters, the Platte Institute explores key measures of Nebraska’s economic growth, including per capita Gross Domestic Product, per capita income, employment growth, and population growth. While the Cornhusker State posted strong gains in GDP through the recession, Nebraska lags behind the national average for creating new jobs and attracting residents.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Commerce show that from 2004-2014, Nebraska ranked 25th for job growth and 27th for population growth. Nebraska ranked below 1 percent average annual growth on both measures (0.80 percent and 0.73 percent), while states like Texas, Florida, Colorado and Arizona grew at a faster pace when it came to job creation and population.

“Creating more and better jobs is one key to growing the Good Life. Our new research series will identify the barriers that stand in the way of Nebraska encouraging more entrepreneurship, which can help improve the quality of life in our state,” said Jim Vokal. “By looking at what other successful states are doing to have greater job growth and to attract more residents and investment, we can identify areas for improvement in Nebraska,” said Vokal.  

Here’s the complete release schedule for the Removing Barriers in Nebraska series through September. Future issues can be found at

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part One: Why Growing Nebraska Matters
Release Date: June 29, 2016

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part Two: Where are Nebraskans Moving?
Release Date: July 13, 2016

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part Three: How Our Taxes and Spending Compare
Release Date: July 27, 2016

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part Four: Taking Lessons on Education Options
Release Date: August 24, 2016

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part Five: Economic Development vs. Economic Growth
Release Date: September 14, 2016

Removing Barriers in Nebraska Part Six: How Red Tape is Harming the Good Life
Release Date: September 28, 2016

To arrange an interview with Jim Vokal or Sarah Curry, contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 452-3737 or

The Platte Institute for Economic Research advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. To learn more about our research, view our recent articles, or subscribe to our weekly #PlatteChat column.

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