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Nebraska households appear to be in a relatively solid financial position with strong job opportunities, increased wages, and robust levels of savings. Large increases in costs associated with housing, however, may significantly constrain the ability of some households to maintain current levels of saving and/or spending.

Unemployment in Nebraska is very low, and labor force participation similar to its pre-pandemic trend.
Job growth exceeds pre-pandemic rates, and openings still remain elevated.
Earnings from employment have also increased at sharply higher rates than previous years.
Though slightly less than previous decades, earnings from work account for the largest share of income.
Transfer payments surged during the pandemic but have since returned to historical levels.
Real incomes in Nebraska have begun growing again with increased earnings and lower inflation.
Since the onset of the pandemic, real incomes in Nebraska have grown more than any other state.
On average, Nebraskans have saved about $9,000 per year since the onset of the pandemic.
Per capita savings in Nebraska have been higher than the nation since the beginning of the pandemic.
However, a sharp increase in housing costs is a risk to household saving and future consumption.
Financing a home purchase at current prices and mortgage rates would reduce household savings significantly.

Key Takeaways

Strength in the labor market does not appear to be fading much in Nebraska, despite a small reduction in job openings. Real incomes continue to rise as wage gains have recently outpaced inflation, boosting household savings. Sharp increases in housing costs, however, may be an important indicator to monitor when considering the future strength of household finances.

Related article: How increasing prices in housing is affecting Nebraskans

Annual expenses for a new mortgage have increased sharply since the pandemic.


Nate Kauffman

Senior Vice President, Economist, and Omaha Branch Executive

Nate Kauffman is Senior Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In his role as the Kansas City Fed's lead economist and represe…

John McCoy

Associate Economist

John McCoy is an associate economist in the Regional Affairs Department at the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In this role, he supports research and out…