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Economy Thrives In Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro

Updated on March 17, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

The Desert Dome, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
The Desert Dome, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium | Source

Best Recovery

Forbes reported that Omaha was America's Best Bang-For-The Buck City and "America's Fastest-Recovering City" after the Great Recession.

Historic Omaha Thrives During Recession

From 2006 - 2008, the number of jobs, including growth and turnover, continued to increase overall, despite the USA entering a recession in 2008.

The Greater Omaha Area was economically healthy throughout the Great Recession and continued to grow in the years afterward. Some industry sectors loss jobs during the recession, but jobs increasing in other sectors made up a larger number than were lost.

The State Unemployment rate was only 4.0% in December 2008, compared to about 7.6% in the national average in December and 8.1% in February '09, according to the stat's statistical unit and the US Department of Labor.

By the end of December 2016, the Omaha Unemployment Rate was down to 3.2%, a percentage that indicates there are not enough workers in the metro area to fill the advertised jobs.

Sperling's Best places rates this area as Number Three among Best Places to Relocate in America and sixth most secure large U.S. City.

By March 2018, Omaha-Council Bluffs offered 10,000 job listings.

Omaha, Nebraska:
Omaha, NE, USA

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Council Bluffs, Iowa:
Council Bluffs, IA, USA

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The population of the Omaha Area is nearly a million people.


Largest Companies & New Oil

Economically successful American cities often host 10 major employers that outshine all the rest in business results. Omaha boasts a Top 15, with another four contributed by Council Bluffs.

The following Top Companies are also among the Top 25 Employers in the State of Omaha. Omaha may be the most successful city in the state.

All of these employers have at least 1,000 persons on the payroll. The top three companies employ over 5,000 and up to 10,000 each, and the majority are involved in

  1. Healthcare,
  2. Education,
  3. Food Processing and Distribution
  4. Transportation

Employer To Watch: Green Plains Renewable Energy Jobs: This company received a $2,300,000 award to develop a vertically-integrated, low-cost ethanol producer.

Largest Companies in the Metro Area

  1. University Of Nebraska Medical Center- Physicians and surgeons. 10,000 people employed.
  2. First Data Resources: IT/computers
  3. Mutual of Omaha Insurance: Back on TV again in Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
  4. Clarkson Hospital: Between 1,000 - 5,000 employees.
  5. Nebraska Medical Center
  6. Union Pacific Railroad: Transportation and freight.
  7. Con Agra Foods: Food processing. Bio-waste of some of these plants has been turned into petroleum (see Tyson, below). At the same time, this firm has been featured in the book Fast Food Nation.
  8. Oriental Training Company: Famous mail order house; hobbies, toys, gadgets.
  9. UNMC/UMAENT Hearing Aids
  10. Bank of the West
  11. Bergan Mercy Hospital: Alegent Health
  12. Creighton University at This school is the stimulus for many new greener technologies and new job growth for the future.
  13. Methodist Hospital
  14. Alegent Health Chest Pain Center
  15. Immanuel Medical Center

Metro Area partner Council Bluffs in Iowa adds her largest companies to the list of Top Employers with worker pools of over 1,000 each:

  • Council Bluffs Community Schools
  • Tyson, Inc. & Tyson Cooked Meats: Food processing, known well for its Tyson Chicken products. Tyson's processing wastes are used in the West to make oil (petroleum) under 'high pressure-high heat' technologies, primarily in Texas. The cost of this production had been equal to drilling and refining.

Council Bluffs' economy further depends on the report-hotels and a number of smaller hospitals compared with those in Omaha. Both cities share a metro area worker pool.

Top 10 High Growth Jobs

  1. Truck Drivers - just a bit ahead of #2, with over 12,000 openings in 2016 an increase of about 1,200 jobs per year.
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs) - Over 10,000 openings during the same 10-year period,
  3. Customer Service and Retail Sales Jobs
  4. All Food Prep & Service and related jobs
  5. Bookkeeping & Accounting
  6. Nurse's Aides and related jobs
  7. Office Clerks
  8. Childcare Workers and Supervisors
  9. Managers: A significantly increasing need for managers in the Omaha Consortium of five counties has emerged.
  10. Business and Financial Services

A Best City for Jobs

By 2010, Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa as a metropolitan area was on the Top 30 Cities for Jobs in America list chosen by and US News and World Report.

The economy of Omaha and Council Bluffs is supported primary by Service Industries, the largest of which are Transport and Utilities combined, Education and Health Services, and Professional Business Services.

Gateway to the West

The Omaha Nation group of Native North Americans has remained an important part of this history for over 12,000 years.

A Good Place to Work in Education

Known as Umonhon Nation in their own language, they support an accredited school system and a wide network of social and community services to fight the barriers experienced by youth and families at-risk for poverty, violence, and addiction; as well as to promote and develop a green and sustainable lifestyle relevant to Indigenous customs and spirituality, particularly the reverence for all life.

The Umonhon schools begin with Pre-K to ensure solid language development for future language and mathematics abilities. These skills are boosted by arts and music, which have been proven to be a foundation for mathematics by major US research teams )supported by the Kennedy Center for the Arts), and a vital part of language, which in turn is a vital part of one's culture.

  • Language + Arts (including music) = Culture = The Personality
  • Language Arts + Fine and Traditional Arts = High-quality Mathematics Skills.
  • Developed Mathematics Skills = More highly developed language & arts skills

These elements must be simulated early on, in the Pre-K ages 3 and 4. Language and mathematics are developed on opposite sides of the brain - develop them both through added physical exercise for the whole body: swimming, gymnastics, dance (particularly ballet), certain martial arts, other.

Lewis and Clark witnessed the first American Pow Wow and Thanksgiving Dance that was recorded by white explorers.

Omaha Nation danced to Whe'wahchee or Dance of Thanksgiving, in the presence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804, the year of the Louisiana Purchase.

Omaha Nation Community Response Team works to raise healthy children, prevent youth involvement in crime and drugs, promote "well-briety" as a path toward healthy living away from all addictions and other health issues, and to instruct several training courses for healthier families in the traditions of the Omaha Nation.

Umonhon Nation Public Schools: Pre-K through 12 grade graduation. Special Education is included and sporting clubs include the Chiefs and the Lady Chiefs.

Location: 470 Main Street, PO 280, Macy, NE 68039

Academic Achievements

  • The graduation rate for high school doubled from 2002 to 2007 alone, just 5 years.
  • The dropout rate reduced by half from 16% in 2001-2002 to just 8% in 2005 - 2006.
  • Meeting or exceeding math standards in 4th, 8th, and 11th grades stand at percentages of 98, 85, and 78. For reading & language, they are 98, 82, 93 - excellent achievements for the school overall.
  • By 12th Grade, 83% or more of high school seniors meet or exceed writing requirements.
  • Nearly 100% of all teachers are highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind guidelines and 11% have an earned Masters Degree.

The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben grouped in 1895 to keep the Nebraska State Fair in Omaha after a directive to provide entertainment "other than saloons, gambling houses, and honky tonks." They patterned themselves after New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewes. A ho
The Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben grouped in 1895 to keep the Nebraska State Fair in Omaha after a directive to provide entertainment "other than saloons, gambling houses, and honky tonks." They patterned themselves after New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewes. A ho

Higher Education

  • Alegent Health School
  • Capitol School Of Hairstyling
  • Clarkson College
  • College Of Saint Mary
  • Creighton University
  • Custom Diesel Drivers Training
  • E Q School Of Hair Design
  • Grace University
  • Hamilton College
  • ITT Technical Institute in Omaha
  • La Rose Beauty Academy
  • Metropolitan Community College
  • Nancy Bounds International
  • Nebraska Christian College
  • Nebraska Methodist College Of Nursing & Allied Health
  • North American Travel School
  • Omaha College Of Health
  • Omaha School Of Massage
  • Opportunities Industrialization Center
  • Railway Educational Bureau
  • Randall School Of Real Estate
  • The Craftsman School
  • The Creative Center College
  • Travel Careers Institute
  • University Of Nebraska
  • Vatterott College
  • Xenon International School Of Hair Design

Omaha Sports Opportunities

  • Omaha Beef Indoor Football
  • Omaha Lancers Hockey in Council Bluffs
  • Omaha Royals - AAA affiliate of the Kansas City Royals
  • Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights Hockey, affiliate of the Calgary Flames
  • Creighton Bluejays men's and women's soccer & basketball, other sports.
  • Kansas City/Omaha Kings Basketball
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha Mavericks Hockey
  • College Level and Professional Wrestling Tournaments
  • American Taekwondo Association (ATA) Events
  • Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation livestock and horse events.

Ak-Sar-Ben Rodeo

© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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