State health officials announced 198 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 20,623 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 284 deaths. Hospital capacity is currently at 41 percent, and 78 percent of ventilators are available. Meanwhile, the number of people filing new unemployment claims in Nebraska surged last week to its highest level in nearly two months. The U.S. Department of Labor says 6,143 people filed initial claims for benefits during the week that ended July 4. That’s a roughly 46% increase over the 4,203 new claims from the prior week.

Pandemic Leads To Record-Setting Fuel Tax

Jun 24, 2020

Nebraska's state motor fuels tax is expected to reach a new record high.  The "Omaha World Herald" reports that starting July 1st, the motor fuels tax will reach 33-point-two-cents per gallon, which marks an increase of nearly four cents.  State officials say the higher tax is needed to offset a loss of revenues to the state road-building fund due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

State health officials announced 189 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 17,415 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 240 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services says 42 percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says counties that require masks in government offices will not be eligible for coronavirus relief funds.

Nebraska Prepares For Third Phase Of Reopening

Jun 16, 2020

The state of Nebraska is about to enter the third phase of its reopening plan.  Starting June 22nd, fan attendance at sports events will no longer be limited to household members of participants, food may be consumed at bars, indoor gatherings may be held at 50-percent capacity and outdoor gatherings can take place at 75-percent capacity.  Salons, barbershops, massage and tattoo businesses will be able to operate at 75-percent capacity, and capacity limits will also increase at childcare facilities.  Hall, Merrick, Dakota, and Hamilton counties will move into Phase Two of reopening while t

Dozens of new COVID-19 cases are reported in Nebraska.  State officials confirmed 92 cases yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 16-thousand-725.  There have been 216 COVID-19 deaths reported in Nebraska during the pandemic.  Nearly 58-hundred cases have been reported in Douglas County. Nebraska small businesses and livestock producers that took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic will get the chance to apply for financial assistance starting today.

The coronavirus has hurt a vast majority of Nebraska’s businesses and about one in six of them are worried that it will force them to close their doors permanently. That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The report highlights the sweeping damage caused by business closures and social-distancing measures to keep the virus from spreading. It says 87% of Nebraska businesses have been hurt because of the pandemic.

Investor Warren Buffett doesn’t know how the economy will recover from the coronavirus outbreak shutdown, but he remains optimistic in the long-term future of the United States. Buffett said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s online annual meeting that there’s no way to predict the economic future right now because the possibilities are still too varied. Berkshire’s meeting was being held without any of the roughly 40,000 shareholders who typically attend. Instead of answering questions in a packed arena filled with shareholders, Buffett spoke in front of a camera for the online meeting.

The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in Nebraska.  As of last night, there were 56-hundred-59 cases and 78 deaths reported statewide.  Hall County leads the state with 12-hundred-56 coronavirus cases, Dakota County has seen 918 cases and Douglas County has reported 878 cases.

The NCAA's decision to close its basketball tournament to the public is expected to have a negative economic impact in Omaha.  Visit Omaha officials say the lack of a crowd at the upcoming games at the CenturyLink Center could mean a loss of five-million-dollars to local businesses including hotels and restaurants.  The NCAA announced yesterday that the upcoming basketball tournament will be closed to fans due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Midwest Economy Showing Growth

Jan 3, 2020

(Omaha, NE)  --  The Midwest economy is showing a bit of growth heading into the new year.  Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says December's Mid-America Business Conditions Index is just under 51, which has the nine-state region including Iowa above growth neutral for the second time in the last three months.  He says the business managers in a recent survey say the inability to hire skilled workers and trade relations with China continue to be their biggest challenges.

U.S. Income Inequality Worst In 50 Years

Sep 30, 2019

(Undated)  --  Income inequality in the U.S. today is the worst in half a century.  New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the gap between the richest and poorest Americans is the largest in the past 50 years.  The widening gap comes despite an economy with more than ten consecutive years of GDP growth and the lowest unemployment since the late 1960s.  Many states did not see a change in income inequality last year but nine did.  The income gap widened in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Texas and Virginia. 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states expect slow growth in the months ahead, but the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China is weighing on the economy.

The Rural Mainstreet survey's overall index climbed into positive territory at 50.1 in September from August's 46.5. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report says an August survey of business supply managers suggests slow or no economic growth over the next several months in nine Midwest and Plains states.

The report issued Tuesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions index dropped below growth neutral in August, hitting 49.3 compared with 52.0 in July. The index had remained above growth neutral for 32 straight months.

A new report says a May survey of business supply managers suggests economic growth will slow over the next three to six months in nine Midwest and Plains states.The report issued Monday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped to 54.3 last month from 55.9 in April. The figure was 58.2 in March. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says tariffs and flooding have harmed several states.The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth.

Good weather enabled Nebraska farmers to make progress in planting crops last week, but they remain behind historic averages.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that for the week ending Sunday, there were five days suitable for field works.

Thanks to the better weather, farmers managed to raise the amount of corn planted to 70% of the anticipated crop. That's still behind the 86% planted last year and for the five-year average. About 27% of the corn crop had emerged, significantly behind the 49% last year and for the five-year average.

Investor Warren Buffett says he expects newspapers to continue declining except for a handful of national papers such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.  Buffett told Yahoo Finance that newspapers aren't nearly as essential today because readers can easily find out about the latest news or sports before the newspaper arrives.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey report suggests economic growth is still slowing in nine Midwest and Plains states.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — An economic forecast predicts Nebraska farm income will drop nearly 7 percent this year before rebounding in 2019 and 2020.

“Everyone Prospers: The Path to Equity” is an event being co-hosted by the United Way of the Midlands and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency this Wednesday at UNO’s Milo Bail Student Center.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has begun fundraising for its $32 million economic development plan

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new monthly survey of bankers suggests the economy remains weak in rural parts

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska officials say the tax package working its way through Congress is creating a great deal of uncertainty for the state budget because it could affect tax collections.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce has hired a futurist to help the community peer into its economic future.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Figures from a survey of supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states have risen slightly but still suggest slow or no economic growth ahead.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City say more borrowers raising livestock and row crops in Nebraska and surrounding states are struggling to repay loans as commodity prices stay low.

How Our Taxes and Spending Compare? is the third of six policy briefs released by the Platte Institute for Economic Research as part of their report Removing Barriers in Nebraska.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A new Nebraska audit has uncovered serious flaws in the operations of a state agency that's key to the governor's goal of growing Nebraska's economy.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Figures from a survey of supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states have dropped again and suggest slow or no economic growth ahead.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Figures from a survey of supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states have risen for the second month in a row, suggesting more improvement in the regional economy.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers will have more money than expected this session, based on new state revenue projections.