Employment Review | February 2024


Employment Review Highlights:

  • All-Time High Unemployment
  • Lower Unemployment Rate
  • A Drop in Average Weekly Wages

The region’s employment sector reached impressive heights by the end of 2023, boasting all-time high employment figures. From December 2022 to December 2023, the region gained 45,800 jobs, marking a robust 4.1 percent growth rate. Noteworthy sectors such as leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and education and health services emerged as the standout performers during this past year, demonstrating remarkable expansion. This data underscores the region’s economic dynamism and adaptability, portraying its ability to thrive and evolve in response to changing circumstances.

Despite notable job growth, Nevada grapples with a relatively high unemployment rate of 5.3 percent, which is 1.8 percentage points higher than the national average rate of 3.5 percent. That said, compared to the prior year, the region has experienced a 0.1 percentage point decrease in its unemployment rate, while the national rate experienced an increase of 0.2 percentage points.

As expected, the region’s largest sector, leisure and hospitality, led in job creation over the past year with 14,100 new employees hired (net) between December 2022 and December 2023. These gains were aided by the opening of two new resorts in the region.  Both the Fontainebleau Las Vegas and Durango Casino and Resort welcomed their first guests in December. Signs of a diversifying economy include the 11,900 employees gained in the professional and business services section. Education and health services also expanded by 5,300 employees. This underscores the region’s notable progress and growth across any number of industries.

Nonetheless, the job market continues to ebb and flow based on the supply-demand dynamics that exist. Average weekly wages dropped to $978, a 2.2 percent decrease from a year ago. Additionally, local wages continued to trend below the national average which has created some challenges in the face of a rising cost of living.

The economy of Southern Nevada continues to be asymmetrical. On one hand, the region consistently ranks as one of the nation’s leading performers in annual job growth – a testament to the ongoing robust and vibrant economy. Nonetheless, Nevada remains as the nation’s highest in terms of unemployment rate. However, this phenomenon can be attributed to a certain extent to a growing labor force within the state, as more people are finding opportunities to re-enter the job market given positive attributes of the local economy. Southern Nevada’s employment landscape continues to exhibit a resurgence, illustrating both the durability of the regional economy and the importance of a skilled labor force in driving job expansion.