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The 20-Year Growth Of Cool Jobs In Nebraska

The first year we started measuring Cool Jobs was 15/17/19. As you know this isn’t a real date.  However, it is a pneumonic device to help remember the major categories included in our Cool Jobs measure. For more on the methodology check out this article

Today we visit the Cornhusker state – Nebraska. We asked the question – What does the growth of Cool Jobs look like when you step back and take a longer look at it? To do this we compared Cool Jobs from the year 2000 and the year 2020. Nebraska has two MSAs with 20 years of data, Omaha and Lincoln. As a comparison, we also included the overall state data on Cool Jobs and salaries to get a picture of other ecosystems (like Grand Island) as well.

Omaha continues to be the main hub in Nebrsaka for tech talent jobs, but has only added 4680 Computer and Software jobs in the last 20 years. Lincoln in the same amount of time has added 3400 jobs essentially doubling the total number from 2000 (3180). All this is pretty unremarkable until you consider the difference in wages. Computer and Software jobs in Lincoln earn 14000 dollars less than identical jobs in Omaha.

The growth of Cool Jobs in Nebraska added 3.8 billion dollars in wages. This represents 21% of the total wage growth (17.4 billion total across all jobs). In 2020, Cool Jobs made up 5.4% of all jobs. This is up from 4.6% in 2000.  Expect this number to continue to rise in the next 20 years. Nebraska averages 492 new Cool Jobs per year.  This makes up 12.7% of all the new jobs created per year in Nebraska (3898) according to BLS data. One alarming trend observed is that Nebraska actually loses 104 Architecture and Engineering jobs on average each year. In 2000, the job number was 13,370. In 2020, the job number was 11,280.

We investigated this anomaly a little closer to see what year the jobs actually left the ecosystem. Was it during the pandemic? The Great Recession of 2008? Actually most of the jobs were gone by the year 2003 (11,780) and according to the data the downward trend continued in 2006 (10,870). Nebraska has actually added nearly 410 Architecture and engineering jobs since 2006. This trend is evident in the Omaha Ecosystem data (+340).

Omaha Ecosystem

To put Cool Jobs growth in perspective, we have included the growth of all jobs for comparison. We will take a closer look here at Omaha. The largest job growth since 2000 has occurred in Healthcare. Healthcare practitioners and Healthcare support account for 1174 new jobs every year. Business and Financial operators add 639 jobs each year to the ecosystem. The biggest decreases have come from Office and Administrative support (-17,190 in total) and in Production jobs (-4890).


Similarly, Lincoln’s largest decreases in jobs has occurred in Office and Administrative support (-4630 in total) and in Production jobs (-5800 in total).The largest job growth since 2000 has occurred in Transportation (371 new jobs per year). Healthcare practitioners and Healthcare support account for 289 new jobs every year. Business and Financial operators add 250 jobs each year to the ecosystem.

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