What’s going on:
The trend of more people leaving than entering Nebraska has been steadily intensifying, leading to a severe loss of educated citizens. Even more worrying, researcher Josie Schafer recently reported to a group of education administrators that by 2030, 65% of jobs in both the state and nation will require higher education of some kind.
“We are losing people, and the trend is actually getting worse post-COVID,” Schafer said.
Why it matters:
The demand for high-skilled jobs is skyrocketing, placing immense pressure on Nebraska’s educational institutions to prepare the next generation of employees and on the state as a whole to attract and keep talented workers.
The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been focusing on tackling the challenge of the 6.7% job openings rate — a figure that represents up to 80,000 vacancies which the state has been unable to fill.
How it’ll impact the future:
Since 2010, more individuals have vacated Nebraska than have migrated from other states annually; job opportunities are a big driver of this outmigration.
According to Schafer, for people with four-year degrees, the net out migration has been persistent and negative, prompting the term “brain drain.”
State Sen. John Arch, speaker of the Legislature, said “We must have workforce. The keeping, the attracting, all of that is just essential to our future as a state.”