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Small Business Saturday, 11.24

Chloe Orr wraps presents at Indigo Bridge Books & Cafe during Small Business Saturday in November. A study from the Kansas City Branch of the Federal Reserve says the retail sector has been one of the fastest-growing industries for job growth in both Lincoln and Omaha.

Data has shown for some time that Nebraska's metro areas, particularly Omaha and Lincoln, have had much higher job growth than the state's rural areas.

But a new study from the Omaha Branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve shows where exactly job growth has been highest in the Omaha and Lincoln areas.

According to the study, which used data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, Omaha's suburban areas are creating the most jobs.

Southwest Omaha, which for purposes of the study included all of Douglas County south of Pacific Street and west of 72nd Street, had the highest job growth, at nearly 4 percent annually from 2012-17.

Sarpy County, with growth of nearly 3 percent a year, and northwest Omaha at around 2 percent, also ranked highly.

The study broke Lancaster County in half, with the dividing line almost right through the center of Lincoln. The south half of the county saw annual job growth around 2 percent, essentially tying with northwest Omaha. Northern Lancaster County did not fare as well, with less than 1 percent job growth, which among the regions was better only than SE Douglas County, which mainly includes the city of Omaha.

The study also broke down employment by industry, which showed north Lancaster County has slightly more construction, manufacturing and retail trade employment than the south part of the county, while the south has more health care and financial and professional services employment.

Overall, both Lincoln and Omaha saw the most growth in professional services and retail trade, at 9 percent, and both saw a decline in manufacturing employment.

The study, which was written by Nathan Kauffman, vice president and Omaha Branch Executive, and research associate John McCoy, said that the steady employment gains in suburban areas, combined with a rebound in manufacturing employment and strong gains in other industries "highlight a positive outlook for Nebraska’s labor market for the coming year."

You can see the full study at: bit.ly/2MaelHT.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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