News Release: Nebraska COVID-19 Losses Estimated at $1.5 Billion

News Release: Nebraska COVID-19 Losses Estimated at $1.5 Billion

NEWS RELEASE from the Platte Institute

Contact: Adam Weinberg
(402) 500-0209

Report: $1.5 Billion Lost in Nebraska Through Early May
Economists Ernie Goss & Scott Strain to
Review Figures on Webinar

OMAHA, NE — Nebraska is currently experiencing its highest unemployment rate in the state’s recorded history, and updated estimates from economists Ernie Goss and Scott Strain show Nebraskans have already lost more than $1.5 billion in wages and income through the first week of May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers have been published in the new Platte Institute report, “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Nebraska’s Economy: Third Cut,” now available at The report is attached in PDF format.

The Platte Institute will host a webinar with Ernie Goss, Ph.D. and Scott Strain, M.S. on the report. The webinar will be held on Zoom TODAY, June 3, 2020 at 11 a.m. Central Time. Registration is required can be found at The program may be recorded for broadcast, will include Q&A, and will be available for download.

At an unemployment rate of 8.3%, the report estimates 92,147 total job losses in Nebraska through early May. The economic contraction has resulted in a loss of nearly $497 million in wages, salaries, and self-employment income.

If these losses were annualized, an economic model estimates that they would result in a loss of more than $10 billion for Nebraska’s economy. It should be noted that these figures do not account for federal money that has come into the state through COVID-19 relief programs, and that in practice not all of the job and business losses resulting from COVID-19 will become permanent.

Here are additional highlights of the report:

  • Nebraska state and local tax receipts are estimated to have declined by nearly $80 million through May 9. If this figure was annualized, state and local governments would experience a loss of $521 million.
  • The COVID-19 recession has caused Nebraska to post its highest unemployment rate on record and its fastest increase in the unemployment rate. Prior to this economic contraction, the state’s highest unemployment rate was 6.3% back in the 1980s, which increased to that rate over a period of years.
  • Nebraska has still fared better than most other states in terms of job losses. Among workers eligible for state unemployment insurance, only South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming posted lower unemployment rates through May 9.

To schedule an interview on this subject, please contact Adam Weinberg at (402) 500-0209 or

The Platte Institute advances policies that remove barriers to growth and opportunity in Nebraska. More media resources are available at

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