Nebraska Thriving Index Insights: Southwest Region

Today we’re focusing on the Southwest region of the Nebraska Thriving Index by continuing to dig into the measures that comprise the overall indexes. The Southwest region has the lowest overall thriving index at 95 and ranks fifth among seven peers overall.

However, drilling down via the online interactive tool, we find that the Southwest outpaces its peer regions in the Quality of Life Index, ranking first for the measures:

Also, the Southwest ranks second among its peer for the overall Infrastructure and Cost of Doing Business Index, as well as, for the Social Capital Index, including first for the measures:

The areas of concern for the Southwest region primarily deal with the labor resources of the region. The Southwest region not only ranks last among peers in the overall Education & Skills Index but ranks low in the Demographic Growth & Renewal Index and Other Prosperity Index (5th of 7 for both). These indexes include measures of the population – or the pipeline of workers – and the quantity and quality of workers in the labor force. Drilling down into these, we see the region ranks significantly lower than peers on:

Overall, the Southwest region has workforce and workforce-related issues that appear to be affecting the economic performance of the region. The Southwest region may want to prioritize workforce development initiatives such as:

To learn more, dig in yourself, at ruralfutures.nebraska.edu/nethrivingindex. We encourage users to submit insights, questions and examples of strategies their community has employed in various areas of measure in the Nebraska Thriving Index.