Nebraska looked to be one of the leading states in the nation, if not the leading state, in job growth during much of 1991. Each month, reports of Nebraska's continued job growth made it appear that the state had somehow managed to escape the national recession.
Nebraska's apparent economic vitality caught the attention of the national media. The Wall Street Journal, citing Arizona State University, noted that "Nebraska increased non-farm employment at a faster pace than any state during March and April. ... From January through April, the state added 34,000 non-farm jobs-a 4.8 percent increase over the same period last year. Over the same four months this year, non-farm employment nationally fell nearly 1 percent."1 A similar article, focusing on Omaha, ran in USA Today.2
Then, in March 1992, an annual revision of Nebraska's job statistics erased much of the growth apparent in the earlier estimates.
This report addresses the question of why Nebraska's original1991 job estimates were later revised downward so substantially. Also discussed are some potential impacts of the statistical revision and possible actions for improving the accuracy of Nebraska's job statistics in the future.
Fifer, E. David, "Occasional Paper No. 94-1: Improving Nebraska's Job Statistics: Learning From the Annual Revision to Nebraska's 1991 Employment Figures" (1994). Publications Archives, 1963-2000. 404.