Sarpy County is Nebraska’s third largest county and is nearly three times larger than Nebraska’s fourth largest county, Hall County. But when it comes to cases litigated in the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court, Hall County outpaced Sarpy County 66 to 49 in fiscal year 2017 according to the latest report from the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation court.
2017 was not an aberration. Hall County consistently has more workers compensation cases litigated than Sarpy County. A comparison of data from the Nebraska Department of Labor about the two counties provides some indication of why more workers’ compensation cases are litigated in Hall County than Sarpy County.
In Sarpy County, customer service/call centers are one of the jobs with the most openings. In Hall County, material handler and welder are among the jobs with the most openings. A welder or material handler is more likely to get hurt on the job than a customer service representative or call center worker.
In Sarpy County, white collar defense contractors, McCallie Associates and Booz-Allen Hamilton are among the top five employers with job openings. In Hall County, Essential Personnel is the employer with the most job openings. Essential Personnel is hiring for mostly for blue collar jobs that are more likely to cause injury.
Sarpy County has a more white-collar workforce than Hall County which could explain why fewer injury cases are litigated. But there are also some other reasons why relatively few work injury cases are litigated in Sarpy County in comparison with other counties. Sarpy County is home to Offutt Air Force Base and many work injuries on the base would be handled under federal workers’ compensation statutes. Werner Enterprises is also headquartered in Sarpy County. However most of their work injuries occur with drivers injured outside of Nebraska. In a case where a Werner driver is injured outside of Nebraska, those cases are litigated in Lancaster County.
In both counties nursing and retail are among the five sectors with the most job openings. Public school districts are the second largest employers in both counties. The similarities between Sarpy County and Hall County speak to increasingly employment in the service sector throughout Nebraska.