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Manufacturing and Nebraska by the Numbers

Manufacturing is an important part of Nebraska’s economy. Anyone who doubts that can look at a report listing a number of sometimes surprising facts about Nebraska manufacturing that was released by the National Association of Manufacturers.

As recent college graduates are faced with mounting student loan debt and uncertain futures, there are many career opportunities in the manufacturing industry right here in Nebraska.

  • Nebraska total manufacturing Output  (2009):   $10 billion
  • Manufacturing’s total of gross state product (2009): 11.6 %
  • Manufacturing establishments in Nebraska (2009): 1,858
  • Manufacturing’s share of Nebraska exports (2010):   79%
  • Total Employment related to manufactured exports: 62,200
  • Average annual salary in manufacturing (2009): $52,395

​When you consider that the average salary of a college student graduating with a four-year degree, and in many instances, four years of student loan debt, you begin to see how attractive a job in today’s manufacturing market can be. Also take into account the findings from a recent study at Rutgers University: only 51 percent of those who have graduated college since 2006 are working full-time jobs.

Rutgers Study

Another interesting and scary statistic from the Rutgers study “Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession” is that “in 2010 student loan debt — about $1 trillion — exceeded the amount that Americans owed in credit card debt and the cost of a college education increased at a rate greater than inflation over the past three decades.”

Then take into account information from an editorial in the New York Times dedicated to the class of 2012 and also reported here on the Dream It! Do It! blog. The article cited the fact that “nearly 40 percent of working recent graduates are in jobs that do not require a college degree.”

Also from the Rutgers study, only 18 percent of recent college graduates said they were in a job where they can earn a comfortable living. On a more positive note 42 percent said that they believe this could be a reality in a few years. Now we get back to a more dire statistic. Nearly forty percent said that this reality was quite a ways off for them, even with their college degree.

It makes one wonder why more potential students of four year colleges aren’t looking into the bustling manufacturing industry.

Spotlight onNebraska Manufacturers:

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