Study Examines 10 High-performing Metros, Nearly 40 Different Factors


Omaha, Neb., October 8, 2020 – The Greater Omaha region entered the COVID-19 crisis in a competitive economic position compared to nine high-performing metros, posting strong advantages in entrepreneurship, business costs and quality of life, according to a  .

“From the start, we have had our eyes on the comeback. The 2020 Barometer reminds us our economic underpinnings are strong, and are part of the reason Omaha is leading the nation in the number of small businesses still open and in operation,” said David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber, in reference to recent Visual Capitalist data.

The Barometer, an “economic scorecard of the Greater Omaha region,” spans eight economic and performance-related categories and examines nearly 40 different factors – including private wages per job, labor force participation rate, and cost of living – to evaluate Omaha’s competitiveness against nine other high-performing metros: Salt Lake City, UT; Louisville, KY; Colorado Springs, CO; Des Moines, IA; Kansas City, MO-KS; Oklahoma City, OK; Austin, TX; Raleigh, NC; and Nashville, TN.

It is important to note – the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Bureau of Business Research (BBR) gathered data for the 2020 Barometer in late 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic intensified in the United States.

Key data showed:

  • Omaha is four percent above the U.S. for the overall index.
  • Omaha ranks No. 3 among comparative metros in entrepreneurship. Omaha’s entrepreneurs earn 11.8 percent of all non-farm income in Greater Omaha – more than the national average of 8.8 percent.
  • Quality of life in Omaha is high, where the metro is No. 1 in health-care access and ease-of-travel/commute time.
  • Omaha ranks No. 3 among comparative cities for cost of doing business – well ahead of metros such as Colorado Springs, Kansas City, Austin, Nashville, Raleigh and Salt Lake City.
  • More than 70 percent of Greater Omaha adults are employed – seven percent higher than the national average.

    View the full report here: Greater Omaha
    Greater Omaha is a No. 1 ranked up-and-coming-tech hotspot, Time magazine’s 2017 No. 3 Most Up-and-Coming City in America and was named America’s No. 2 Best Small City by Resonance Consultancy. Greater Omaha is home to more than 30 communities and nearly 1 million people.