After the pandemic, for most tech workers, it’s possible to work for coastal startups and tech companies remaining in Omaha. Tech talent labor force in the city grew by 21% in the past five years, with wages increased by 11%, according to CBRE’s 2020. The report points out that tech positions survive the COVID-19 upheaval because of remote work.
Ph.D. and director of UNO’s Center for Public Affairs Research Josie Schafer said that about 75% of Nebraska workers transitioned to remote work almost immediately back in March 2020. Schafer analyzes the impact of the 2020 pandemic on the local economy. He points out that industries like finance, insurance, and scientific services have an easier transition to remote settings.
These industries, among tech workers, represent an estimated 8.7% of the Nebraska workforce. The American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau 2019 one-year estimates around 88,000 individuals. Even before the remote shift forced by the pandemic, Omaha and Lincoln recorded a remarkable rise in tech companies and a specialized workforce.
Unlike other cities in the U.S., Nebraska doesn’t have state incentives for remote workers, but those who move to the state can take free land. For example, The City of Harmony offers cash rebates from $5,000 to $12,000 for new residents. Or the town of Curtis provides free parcels of land in a neighborhood with utility hookups.
In addition, for startup and small business owners, the State of Nebraska launched the Nebraska Advantage Package. With this economic development program, small businesses can earn tax credits, payroll exemptions, and other benefits to start a business in the state.
With co-working spaces and benefits for remote businesses, Nebraska is a new hub for tech workers and remote startups.