Driving employment numbers
The report found that agriculture is also a driver of employment in Nebraska.
Workers engaged in agricultural jobs during 2017 earned an estimated $14.3 billion, including income, wages, salaries and benefits, accounting for 19.9% of all income earned by the Nebraska workforce that year. In total, 321,000 workers — 23.3% of the state’s workforce — were employed in a position connected to Nebraska’s ag industry that year.
The report found that though commodity prices were relatively low in 2017, producers still hired workers, bought and repaired equipment and made other business decisions that kept most aspects of Nebraska’s agricultural production complex strong.
Lubben said this shows that farmers and ranchers tend to make investment decisions based on long-term trends, rather than based on a single good or bad season.
Illustrating importance of industry
Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said the report, detailing the critical role agriculture plays to the state’s economy, “is an important and unbiased illustration of the need for Nebraskans to continue to work together to support our state’s largest single industry.”
“Understanding the vast majority of Nebraskans will never sit behind the steering wheel of a combine during harvest or start their day feeding livestock, the findings in this report clearly show that many Nebraskans are still connected to agriculture through the jobs that are created as a direct result of production agriculture activities,” Nelson said.