Nationally, the labor market continues to adjust to new market realities. Unemployment levels remain low, and job openings exceed job seekers despite some headwinds, including a number of firms announcing layoffs. Additionally, the Fed has continued to slowly raise the federal funds rate in an attempt to lower inflation, which ended the year at 6.5 percent, significantly lower than the June 2022 peak of 9.1 percent. Despite this, Greater Vegas continues to show resilience, with overall employment reaching record highs in November 2022.
Southern Nevada ended the year with nearly 1.1 million employees, an increase of 43,300 jobs since December 2021. Despite some minor loss of jobs in the information and other services sectors, Southern Nevada is experiencing job gains across the board. The leisure and hospitality sector grew by 16,000 jobs over the past year, followed by construction (+10,900 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (+5,000 jobs) and education and health services (+3,600 jobs). Overall, employment in the region experienced a 4.2 percent increase from the prior year and looks well positioned heading into 2023.
The increasing employment base in Southern Nevada has resulted in a stabilizing unemployment rate for the area, closing out the year at 5.4 percent. Although this is notably higher than the national rate of 3.3 percent, it represents a strong recovery for Southern Nevada following the impacts from COVID-19 and related response, which resulted in the nation’s highest unemployment rate. Despite the gains made in employment overall, total initial unemployment insurance claims in Nevada increased slightly over the past year to 11,952 claims in December 2022, an increase of 11.1 percent from December 2021.
Given these relatively strong year-end job numbers and Southern Nevada’s push for economic diversification, it comes as no surprise that both weekly wages and hours worked continue to increase amid a tightening labor market. Southern Nevada’s average weekly wage peaked at $1,014 in October 2022, before settling into $1,005 to close out the year. Overall, weekly wages in the region grew nearly twice as fast as the national average, increasing by 6.7 percent from December 2021.
As the global economy continues to brace for a potential economic slowdown, Southern Nevada continues to do more with less. The impacts can be seen in the continued workforce stability and significant growth in many of Southern Nevada’s largest industries. As the region heads into the new year, Southern Nevada’s fundamentals remain relatively stable.