The 'AAA' rating on Omaha, Neb.'s various-purpose and GO refunding bonds series 2003 reflects the city's: Broad and diversified regional economy, Above-average income levels, Conservative financial management, and Moderate debt burden. Due to annexations and its thriving economy, Omaha's population grew 16% during the 1990s to 390,000 in 2000. The city serves as a regional economic center for the five-county Omaha MSA. Solid employment growth in the services, trade, and manufacturing sectors has augmented the stability provided by health care and agribusiness. Unemployment, which averaged 3.8% for 2001, has been consistently below the state's and nation's averages due to the city's diverse employment base. Annexations also added to assessed valuation (AV) growth, which increased 20% to $19 billion, or $48,667...
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