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It’s essential for a community to have opportunities for meaningful employment that ensure all people can provide for themselves and their families. Employment that provides livable wages helps a family to have safe housing, transportation, access to health care, and good quality of life. A robust workforce creates a stronger economy, leading to development and growth within our entire community.


While unemployment is low in our community, it is consistently higher for people of color. Additionally, about one in 10 people work full time yet live below the poverty line, and many residents hold multiple jobs, surpassing the national average.

In our community, unemployment rates have decreased for residents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, outperforming national trends.

Median Earnings

People of color earn a median income that is more than $25,000 less annually than their white counterparts. A 2018 Regional Equity Profile conducted by Heartland 2050 found that, even when education levels are equal, people of color still earn less than white residents.

Black workers in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area earn about 10% less than the national average for Black workers.

Gender Pay Gap

On average, women in our community earn more than $17,000 less per year than men, regardless of educational attainment. While income generally increases with education, men consistently earn higher median incomes across all occupational areas, and this wage gap increases as educational levels increase.

The gender pay gap in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area is slightly higher than national rates. The pay gap between men and women has increased since 2016 both locally and nationally.

Job Access

The local workforce has unfilled positions, but many potential workers don’t have access to these jobs. The persistence of job vacancies during times of higher unemployment may indicate a mismatch between the skills required to do a job and the skills available among the pool of workers.

Workforce Findings

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