Diversified Nevada Economy is Booming

Nevada has all but wiped out its job losses from the Great Recession, replacing them with mostly full-time jobs in a more diversified economy. The state’s chief economist said the state has added 30,000 jobs through April this year and 170,000 since 2010, and will add another 100,000 by 2018.

Nevada nearly has wiped out its job losses from the Great Recession, replacing them with mostly full-time jobs in a more diversified economy.

Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Chief Economist Bill Anderson said the state has added 30,000 jobs through April this year and 170,000 since 2010, wiping out nearly all job losses that occurred during the Great Recession.

Anderson told the Las Vegas Review Journal the state lost 175,000 jobs during the Great Recession – about 100,000 of them construction jobs.

But with the local and national economies improved and the state and Clark County diversifying its economic base, Anderson says the state is poised to exceed its high-water employment mark by about 100,000 jobs in the next 1.5 years.

Among examples of statewide economic diversification are the Tesla and Faraday Future electric car factories being built in Nevada, which traditionally has little to no manufacturing.

By 2018, Anderson says there should be at least 5,000 manufacturing jobs in Nevada, and even more when Faraday Future reaches full production later that year.

He also says there should be about 100,000 more construction workers employed in Nevada by the end of next year as many large projects are renewed or begun in Clark County and other parts of the state.

Among particular economic highlights illustrated by Anderson are record-high small business employment at more than 590,000, record-high number of job providers at about 67,000 – including gains each of the past 19 quarters, and economic growth that is better than 48 other states.

Anderson said the average hourly wage paid in Nevada last year was $20.58, and most jobs created since the Great Recession are full-time jobs.

While Nevada’s job climate and economy are improving, it remains one of the nation’s top summer travel destinations.

Travel website Travelocity reports Las Vegas ranks third among the top U.S. travel destinations this summer, trailing only Los Angeles and San Diego.

The primary advantages cited for those cities are their excellent summer weather, versus the hot, dry summers in Las Vegas, and beaches.

They also have more amusement parks, national parks, and historical sites, which Travelocity says tourists generally prefer over casinos. That many will have school-age children adds to the appeal of the non-gaming destinations over Las Vegas.

Las Vegas rated well for its attractions, as well as abundance of nearby national parks.

Las Vegas soon might rate well for its public transportation, too, as the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) weighs a $100 million proposal to extend the Las Vegas Monorail line to the Mandalay Bay Casino and add two new trains.

Commission staff are preparing a report the RTC is scheduled to review in August. The monorail company wants to use the RTC’s credit rating to obtain financing bonds to raise money.

More than 5 million passengers rode the monorail last year, and ridership is up since it almost went bankrupt during the Great Recession. Some 4.5 million people rode the monorail in 2014.

Extending it to the Mandalay Bay will connect about 10,000 more hotel rooms to the system, when factoring in the secondary tram connecting the Mandalay Bay to the Luxor and Excalibur casinos.

It also would add the more than 2 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center to the line and connect it with the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Convention and Expo Center, among other convention centers.

The RTC also is slated to review potential plans for improving access to McCarran International Airport, including possibly building an airport expressway.

Some commissioners would like to extend the monorail line to the airport, but others say an expressway is the way to go, and would prove beneficial to North Las Vegas, Henderson, and other areas away from the Las Vegas Strip.