Date of this Version
Prepared By The UNL Bureau Of Business Research Volume 5 No 2 3rd Quarter 2013
The Quarterly Business Indicators for the 3rd quarter of 2013 show solid progress in the Lincoln, Nebraska economy. Improvements in the economy are broad-based.
The Lincoln MSA unemployment rate remains at year ago levels (Figure 1) but is still half of the U.S. rate (Figure 2). Lincoln is experiencing solid labor market growth. Non-farm employment grew by 1.5% in the Lincoln MSA between the 3rd quarter of 2012 and 2013, which is slightly below the 1.7% growth rate nationwide (Figure 4). However, average hours worked rose by 0.4% in the Lincoln MSA over the last year (Figure 8) versus a 0.4% decline nationally. Building permits also are up 17.4% in the Lincoln MSA compared to last year (Figure 6).
Taxable sales rose solidly in the Lincoln MSA between the 3rd quarter of 2012 and 2013 (Figures 9 and 10). Motor vehicle sales are up 12.5% while other taxable sales are up 6.3% (Table 1).
Among individual industries, manufacturing and insurance employment were unchanged in Lincoln between the 3rd quarter of 2012 and 2013 (Table 1). Professional, scientific and technical services employment also was flat over the year. This result is concerning since professional, scientific and technical services are a source of high wage jobs. State government employment declined during the year, by 1.0%. Among growing industries, construction employment expanded by 2.5% while other financial services (primarily banking) grew by 4.1%. Health care employment expanded by 1.5%.