CARI: Center for Applied Rural Innovation


Date of this Version

July 2002


Published by the Center for Applied Rural Innovation, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Copyright © 2002 by J. Allen, S. Cordes, A. Smith, M. Spilker, and A. Hamilton.


This working paper presents findings from the first annual Nebraska Rural Poll. The study is based on 2,754 responses from households in the 87 nonmetropolitan counties in the state. The objectives of this paper are to provide information on how rural Nebraskans provide household income, the employment patterns they have and, what benefit packages they have or don’t have. The question of whether benefit packages are employer provided or are provides by other sources was also addressed. The specific questions include:
What percent of rural Nebraskans have employment?
Is the employment.....
Full-time with no other employment?
Full-time with an additional part-time or seasonal job?
Part-time or seasonal only?
What benefits do rural Nebraskans have?
Health insurance?
Paid vacation?
Paid sick leave?
Retirement program?
Paid child care?
Educational tuition reimbursement?

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents reported having employment in 1995. Of the 1,968 rural Nebraskans who reported having a job, almost 69 percent reported having a full-time position and no other. Eighteen percent reported working only part-time or seasonal, while thirteen percent reported having a full-time and a part-time or seasonal job.

• Southeast Nebraska rural residents are more likely to have either (a) a part-time job only (21%), or (b) a full-time job coupled with a seasonal or part-time job (16%).

• Women were more likely to have only part-time or seasonal employment compared to men (29% compared to 15%).

• Residents living in towns with a 10,000 or more population were more likely to have a fulltime only job than were residents in smaller towns -- especially when compared to residents of towns of 100-499 people (76% compared to 61%).

• Those between 40 and 49 years of age were most likely to have only full-time employment (80%), and least likely to have only part-time employment (8%). In contrast, only 35% of those age 65 and older had only full-time employment, and 625 of this older group had only part-time employment.

• Thirty-six percent of those making less than $10,000 in 1995 had a full-time job, and an additional 16% had both a full-time and part-time or seasonal job.

• Eleven percent of rural Nebraskans reported they did not have health insurance. The proportion without health insurance tended to be higher among:
-- Those holding only part-time employment
-- Those in the Central and Western parts of Nebraska
-- Those in smaller towns
-- Women

• Those who had at least a high school education were much more likely than those who did not to be working either full-time or full-time and part-time or seasonal.