An economist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believes the state will rebound in wake of the loss of ConAgra.
Bureau of Business Research Director Eric Thompson says the state must first focus on the needs of more than one thousand workers losing their jobs before assessing the impact of Omaha losing the ConAgra headquarters.
“Our first thought should be for those people and trying to help them transition into their next work opportunity,” Thompson tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “Research shows that there is a significant share of people who can find a similar-type job, but unfortunately there is also a significant share of people when these mass lay-offs occur that don’t really find something that pays as well as the job they had.”
Thompson says though the loss of the ConAgra headquarters is a blow to the ego, its economic impact should be limited.
“In terms of the overall Omaha or Nebraska economy, I do think Omaha and Nebraska’s economy are large enough to absorb even this level of job loss and that, over time, the economies might be a little smaller than they would have been, but will recover,” Thompson says.
ConAgra, which had been headquartered in Omaha since 1992, is moving its headquarters to Chicago.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this article.