Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Nebraska Rural Poll, Research Report (January 2015) 14-4, 35 pages

Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Most rural Nebraskan households have full-time employment and many employed households derive part of their household income from self-employment. Self-employment is more prevalent in smaller communities. Most rural Nebraskans living in or near the smallest communities have self-employment in their household.

Some rural Nebraska households also have multiple job holding by members of the household. Again, this is more likely to occur in the smallest communities.

Most self-employed rural Nebraskan households get less than one-half of their total household income from self-employment. However, over one-quarter (29%) of self-employed rural Nebraskans get almost all of their household income from self-employment. Many self-employed rural Nebraskan households are content with self-employment and would not accept a job with an employer.

Some employed rural Nebraskan households (18%) have an individual in their household who telecommutes for at least one of their jobs. And, 28 percent of employed rural Nebraskan households say someone has settled for a job they are overqualified for because nothing better is available. Younger persons, persons with lower household incomes and persons with food service or personal care occupations are the groups most likely to say someone in their household is overqualified for their job.

Some of the top motivations for employment for rural Nebraskans include: income for basic needs, being able to do work I enjoy, to secure health insurance, income to enjoy extras, and I enjoy meeting the challenges of work and being successful.