Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



A Bureau of Business Research Report From the University of Nebraska—Lincoln May 31, 2011


Copyright 2011 Thompson, Fuess, McEntaffer & Hartman


The recent ―Great Recession‖ impacted all parts of the country and the economy. But, selected industries and regions were especially hard-hit, as is true in many recessions. In terms of regions, the western and mountain regions of the United States, the industrial Midwest and the state of Florida were impacted most. Among industries, the manufacturing industry was hard hit, as is typically the case during recession. For example, in the State of Nebraska, net jobs losses in the manufacturing industry accounted for 9,400 (33%) of the total 28,300 net job loss between December 2007 and December 2009. But, one unusual aspect of the Great Recession was the collapse of the housing sector. This lead to substantial job losses in construction and in portions of the service sector closely tied to the housing market such as finance, real estate, legal service, architecture and engineering. We note that construction accounted for another 4,200 (15%) of the 28,300 net job loss in Nebraska between December 2007 and December 2009.

Given these patterns, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research (BBR) conducted a special study for the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain Consortium, which is composed of the Departments of Labor in the states of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. This study examines re-employment opportunities in green occupations for displaced workers in the construction, manufacturing, and construction-related services industries. The first part of the research examines the potential ―match‖ in theory between green occupations and the occupations of displaced manufacturing, construction, and construction-related service workers in each consortium state.