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Ricketts and Bulkley

Columbus Mayor Jim Bulkley, left, laughs with Gov. Pete Ricketts before Tuesday's town hall meeting held in May inside of downtown city council chambers. Ricketts on Monday highlighted two new metrics that indicate the state’s economic strength.  Nebraska has the least state debt per capita and the second-highest workforce participation rate among U.S. states.


Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday highlighted two new metrics he said indicate the state’s economic strength. Nebraska has the least state debt per capita and the second-highest workforce participation rate among U.S. states, according to the governor.

“Hard work and financial responsibility are core values of Nebraska’s families, communities and the state,” Ricketts said, in a provided statement. “At the state level, we’ve committed to a balanced budget, which protects taxpayers against the kinds of unsustainable financial obligations other states create. We’ve also had success attracting good-paying jobs to our state. Unemployment is less than 3%, and a higher percentage of Nebraskans are contributing to the economy than in almost any other state.”

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A Moody’s report released on June 3 reveals that Nebraska has the lowest total net tax-supported debt (NTSD) of any state in the nation. According to the report, Nebraska holds only $23 of NTSD per-capita. Having a high level of NTSD places a state at risk of insolvency when debts come due. Nebraska’s extremely low NTSD indicates financial health and is a great sign for businesses looking to move to the state.

Additionally, Nebraska ranked second among the 50 states in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 17 report of state labor force participation rates. The monthly report measures the percentage of a state’s population that is working or actively seeking employment. Nebraska’s high labor force participation rate and low unemployment rate are evidence of a strong labor market.

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