Nebraska’s economy is ailing, according to a new survey of business leaders and supply managers statewide. Ernie Goss, an economics professor at Creighton University, says Nebraska’s latest financial report is following suit with the Midwest region and the nation as a whole, with worsening numbers for October.
Goss says, “What I’m expecting for Nebraska in the months ahead is negative growth, job losses — although at this point in time, the downturn, the recession is not as severe certainly as what we’re seeing outside the nine-state region that we survey.” In the past several months, he says manufacturing in Nebraska has been trending downward, yet the state’s transportation firms, both rail and trucking, continue to expand at a positive pace.
“It’s more of an issue for businesses outside of Nebraska,” Goss says. “The banking sector outside Nebraska is doing much worse. Banking balance sheets in this part of the country are fairly solid. Farm income, while down to some degree and looking a bit weaker, is still holding up pretty well.” While hiring will rise soon in Nebraska for the holiday season, Goss says it’ll only be temporary and he expects state’s unemployment rate to move above four-percent in early 2009.
The downturn, he says, is not permanent: “It’s just going to take time. We’re going to have to move through this economic downturn and we will move beyond it. Some individuals are calling for another depression. I don’t see it. Our numbers don’t suggest that or indicate that. The national numbers don’t suggest that, don’t indicate that.” Goss says the holiday shoppping season ahead may be one of the worst in 15 years.