ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

New Economic Trends for Valley County

with 4 comments

Our gracious partners at Nebraska Public Power District provided up with some compelling information at our strategic planning session last Friday.  Those numbers were quite helpful in laying out our action plan for 2009, which will be provided later today.  Some interesting and very positive facts for Ord and Valley County:

  • In 2007, Ord experienced its highest retail sales pull factor (folks coming in to spend their dollars) since 1990.
  • Of like-sized Nebraska communities, Ord’s retail pull was significantly stronger than any other.  The closest competitor was Geneva in Fillmore County.
  • From 2001-2007, Valley County experienced 12.4% employment growth (jobs created) in non-farm jobs (everything except farming/ranching).
  • Valley County retains nearly 86% of its workforce – those that live here work here.
Cody Sitz, owner, Premier Pump and Well

Cody Sitz, owner, Premier Pump and Well

Now the bad news: population decline affects nearly every rural Nebraska community.  Valley County is not immune to the impact a declining population has on its future economic vitality.  From 2000 – 2007, Valley County as a whole lost 8.3% of its population.

What does this all mean for 2009?  Even though a tremendous (and might I remind you nationally recognized) amount been accomplished in the past several years, we as a community have a sizable workload ahead of us.  Job creation has been exceptional for the community, as has a tangible effort in keeping local dollars here.  Our focus will need to materialize on first population stabilization and then growth in the immediate future.  Our efforts will focus on providing tools and pathways to increase our workforce *and* our population.

I have mentioned several times that an economic recession is a time for considerable opportunity for rural communities.  How is that you ask?  For those that migrated *into* Valley County, the biggest draw (outside of Nebraska) came from California.  The land of sun, beaches, economic collapse and home foreclosures.  Opportunity is there, we just have to jump on it.


Written by Caleb

January 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm

4 Responses

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  1. I appreciate the factual information presented in this post. While our population is not growing we do have a vast number of things we should be proud of.

    It is encouraging that our retail sales are getting stronger and that the number of jobs has increased so much. These statistics and others are encouraging and promising for our future.

    Thank you for creating this informational and factual blog that has data that can be backed up with valid and reliable sources.


    January 28, 2009 at 2:53 pm

  2. […] 28, 2009 · No Comments Monday we had a bit of information on the economic trends report from our friends at NPPD.  We were able […]

  3. […] that in Ord, in the past several years, we’ve seen strong growth in retail pull, attaining the best levels of pull since 1990.  It doesn’t mean we can’t build on this […]

  4. […] You can read the entire report here.  I’ll chew on the data to see what more I can conclude from it.  What I do find rather enlightening in the data is that while population decline continues to impact our community, it may be a misleading economic trend when you see corresponding growth in jobs, retail pull and overall wages.  I’m not saying it doesn’t matter, but it could be overstated.  When new figures on the 2009 recession are released, it will be interesting to track the impact on the area economy.  I don’t expect as rosy a report in a year’s time.  You can also compare this year’s trends with those from the past year here. […]

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