Nebraska has a small but growing industrial sector. In 1997, there were 2,039 manufacturing establishments with 111,098 employees, and a payroll of $3.2 billion. The value of shipments for manufactured goods for Nebraska in 1997 was $28 billion.
More than one-third of all manufacturing establishments in Nebraska are in the Omaha metropolitan area, including ConAgra, the nation's largest flour miller and a producer of broiler chickens and crop-protection chemicals. Other manufacturing centers are Lincoln and the Sioux City, Iowa, metropolitan area in Nebraska. As of 1997, there were 6 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Nebraska.
Earnings of persons employed in Nebraska increased from $29.7 billion in 1997 to $31.2 billion in 1998, an increase of 4.9%. The largest industries in 1998 were services, 24.8% of earnings; state and local government, 12.4%; and transportation and public utilities, 9.7%. Of the industries that accounted for at least 5% of earnings in 1998, the slowest growing from 1997 to 1998 was farm (5.4% of earnings in 1998), which decreased 35.2%; the fastest was transportation and public utilities, which increased 14.8%.