OTHER VOICES: Businesses, censuses show immigration is vital for the state | Notice
Nebraska continues to grow steadily as it approaches 2 million people, according to 2020 census figures released last week.
Yet despite its population growing to the second-fastest in state history, the state still struggles to fill jobs in many fields, with manufacturing, agriculture, and hospitality among them. those in greatest need as Nebraska has returned to near full employment.
Without the proper investment to keep existing Nebraskans and attract new ones, the state’s economy could stagnate – especially with a wave of baby boomer retirements over the next decade expected to hit this market. Condition harder than most.
As a result, immigration must continue to be seen as an economic imperative into the 2020s and beyond, which means smart policies are essential to sustaining Nebraska’s growth into the future.
Employers are hiring in this state. The jobs are there. Yet there are simply not enough people to fill them.
Take, for example, the restaurant industry, present and vital to nearly every community in Nebraska, regardless of size, and which employs one in 10 Nebraska.
The pandemic has ravaged the industry and its workers, many of whom left for other fields in the months-long shutdowns last year. They took on other jobs that were in demand, leaving restaurants – whose sales soared following an increase in vaccinations – “all in search of the same elusive small number,” the executive director said. from the Nebraska Restaurant Association, Zoe Olson, to Journal Star, Matt Olberding.