Over the last decade, wages earned in Nebraska’s ethanol production sector outpaced all other manufacturing groups in state, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Program. In 2013, the average annual wage in the ethanol sector was $59,541. By comparison, the average for all other manufacturing sectors in the state was $39,966.
“Nebraska’s ethanol industry now has twenty-four operating plants located across the state with the capacity to produce more than two billion gallons annually,” according to Todd Sneller, Nebraska Ethanol Board administrator. “The impact of ethanol production goes far beyond rural Nebraska. Virtually every sector of the state’s economy benefits from ethanol’s growth. Economic benefits accrue to technology and manufacturing sectors that provide software and sophisticated equipment to the agricultural sector that provides the raw materials processed in the plants,” he said.
“A vibrant agricultural economy is a major component of Nebraska’s economic success and the growing importance of ethanol is particularly notable. The ethanol industry generates 7,700 jobs, increases Nebraska’s annual economic base by $5.8 billion, and pays more than $38 million in local and state tax revenues each year.” Sneller said.
Estimated Annual Economic Impacts Associated With the Operation of Nebraska Operating Ethanol Plants(a)
- Increased Economic Effect on: Direct Effects*, Total Impacts(b)
- Total Ethanol Production 2,077 million gallons
- Economic base (Output)(c) . . . . . . . $4,652.5 million, $5,114.6 million
- Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,293, 5,289
- Household income . . . . . . . . . . . . . $119.2 million, $276.5 million
- Tax revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.0 million, $38.3 million
- Retail Sales (Households) . . . . . . . . N/A, $105,397.5 million
- Grain prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . N/A, $0.05-0.10/bushel
(a) Includes the estimated direct inputs, including labor, required to produce 2,077 million gallons of ethanol.
(b) Includes the estimated direct and secondary (indirect and induced) economic effects associated with the operation of the 24 operational Nebraska ethanol production facilities, as of December 2013. Operational facilities include plants operating in December 2013 plus the Aventine plant in Aurora. Values for the AGP Corn Processing, Inc. plant in Hasting, which is permanently shut down, and the E3 Biofuels plant in Mead are not included in these numbers.
(c) Reported value is for revenues from sales of ethonal only and does not include value of 6.3 million tons of potential distillers grains production. Nebraska, 2012 estimated average pricer per ton for distillers grains was $262 for dry and $95 for wet.
Source: Data on ethanol production capacity and estimated employment for the 25 operational Nebraska plants were obtained from the Nebraska Ethanol Board. Other direct effects (value of output, household income, tax revenues) and estimates of the secondary and total economic effects are derived from a 2014 study, Estimated Economic Impacts of Nebraska’s Ethanol Facilities, 2013, prepared by Kenneth M. Lemke (Nebraska Public Power District).