Welcome to the new Las Vegas PERSPECTIVE!

Jonas Peterson President & Chief Economic Development Officer, LVGEA

At LVGEA, we believe economic development is a team sport that benefits greatly from informed opinion, focused research and community polling.

Our team of business and community leaders can only be successful when we execute a plan based on accurate information and thoughtful analysis. So, to help our team play at the highest possible level, we’re reimagining and rebooting a research brand that has served our community well for 34 years, the Las Vegas PERSPECTIVE.

The new Las Vegas PERSPECTIVE will build upon the research you’ve come to know and love by adding new digital publications, economic forecasting, community development data, market comparisons, content from respected community leaders, an all-new launch event and much, much more. In short, our goal is to position the new PERSPECTIVE as Southern Nevada’s premier source for community and economic development information, analysis and forecasting.

We selected education as the theme for our first, quarterly PERSPECTIVE UPDATE e-newsletter because of the broad and significant impact our education system has on economic development. During 2014, skilled workforce availability and confidence in our education system was the single biggest relocation obstacle cited by companies as they evaluated our market. Yet, our community seems to be at a tipping point. Governor Sandoval has recently introduced legislation that could deliver meaningful change, and community support, as referenced in the below polling, seems strong during the early days of the legislative session.

In order for our community to achieve its economic development aspirations, we need an education system that delivers the workers we need to be competitive for high-wage jobs and employers. Over the next decade, I believe our ability to provide highly skilled, STEM-educated workers will be one of the most important keys to our economic development success. From my PERSPECTIVE, it’s just that simple.

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and its partners in the LVGEA Community & Economic Research Council publish this Perspective newsletter on a quarterly basis. In addition to the annual research book and comprehensive economic update event in May, the Perspective quarterly newsletters address themes of Education, Infrastructure, and Regional Economic Competitiveness.

Each of these free newsletters features:

  • An introductory column by LVGEA President and Chief Economic Development Officer Jonas Peterson
  • A guest columnist from Southern Nevada who addresses topics in the theme of the newsletter
  • Data and an Economic Perspective from Applied Analysis
  • Polling data and analysis of the poll around the theme of the newsletter
  • For more information about Perspective and to view this newsletter in your browser, see http://www.LVGEA.org/Perspective

Mark Your Calendars May 19

The 35th Annual Las Vegas Perspective Event at the Four Seasons Hotel

Purchase Tickets

Guest Columnist Pat Skorkowski

CCSD Provides Much To Be Proud Of

If you’ve paid any attention to the news you might have heard about some of the critical issues facing the Clark County School District, from serious overcrowding in our schools to a dire teacher shortage. However, while we do have our challenges we have even more to celebrate. Our schools and amazing students give us much to brag about and already we’ve kicked-off 2015 with many accolades and recognitions.

Did you know that a few weeks ago in February CCSD was named Advanced Placement District of the Year by the College Board? The award was in the large urban district category and was given based on two criteria, the number of students enrolled in AP classes and the opportunity for students to be able to enroll in AP courses. I couldn’t be prouder of the teachers who encourage our students to be their best and most of all the students who take it upon themselves to push their own limits.

John C. Vanderburg Elementary was named among the 50 Best American Public Schools by TheBestSchools.org and Las Vegas Academy of the Arts was awarded its 12th Grammy Award, earning more Grammy’s under their belt than any other school in the nation. John A. Dooley and John W. Bonner elementary schools were designated as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Only 340 public and private schools in the nation are awarded this designation annually.

Additionally, Magnet Schools of America has recognized 17 CCSD Magnet Schools for their success and Advanced Technologies Academy was ranked second best in the nation. Given the history of awards our Magnet programs have received, it’s safe to say that we offer some of the best magnet programs nationwide!

We also announced our official graduation rate for the Class of 2014. Although we imposed a stricter method of calculating our graduation rate, we were able to sustain our graduation rate of close to 71 percent, graduating 400 additional students. We still have a long way to go to with regards to our graduation rate, but we are moving in the right direction, and we see that reflected in our scholarship statistics. The Class of 2014 earned a collective $255 million in scholarships with 60 of those students becoming National Merit Scholar semi-finalists. Our upcoming 2015 class is on track to reach that same level of success.

I could go on boasting about the amazing accomplishments of our staff and students, but it’s important to recognize that this is all possible thanks to our community partners, like the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

Earlier this year we announced updates to our Executive Advisory Committee composed of members from the LVGEA and other businesses. The experts in the committee have volunteered to look over our finances and operations in our schools and departments to ensure that we are maximizing the use of every dollar in every school.

This kind of partnership is the first of its kind nationwide. I am very proud to know that local business leaders are recognizing the importance of education in Clark County and stepping-up to be part of the solution and success that the entire community can be proud of.

To stay up to date on the great work our schools are doing follow me on Twitter at @PatatCCSD or follow CCSD at @ClarkCountySch

Superintendent Clark County School District
  • CCSD named 2014 Advanced Placement District of the Year
  • John A. Dooley & John W. Bonner elementary schools among the 340 National Blue Ribbon Schools in 2014
  • 17 CCSD Magnet Schools recognized by Magnet Schools of America
  • The Class of 2014 earned a collective $255 million in scholarships

Education Statistics

The team at the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance values research and analysis. We knew that the Las Vegas PERSPECTIVE has long provided an annual survey of Southern Nevadans, but we wanted more. So, as we reboot this storied publication, we’re commissioning quarterly polls.

Our Community and Economic Research Council directed us to build a vehicle that would regularly assess opinions and attitudes of the Southern Nevada workforce on the topics of education, infrastructure, quality of life, and economic competitiveness. By asking a set of static questions every year, PERSPECTIVE will eventually become a useful, public resource for examining changing trends and opinions within the Southern Nevada workforce on these topics. In addition, we will ask a series of current event questions to help measure the workforce’s sentiment on issues of the day that are related to our newsletter's theme.

For the inaugural quarterly poll, we examined an issue central to the Nevada legislative session currently underway in Carson City: education. Although this poll was conducted nearly a month ago, it's interesting to see that the Legislature commenced with about 60 percent of respondents ready to see increases in taxes for education. Additionally, nearly 60 percent supported all elementary schools offering free full-day kindergarten classes, and nearly 56 percent supported spending more on English language instruction to students who are not yet proficient in English.

A majority of respondents rated the quality of our K-12 schools as either "poor" or "extremely bad." At the same time, 60 percent of respondents said they would personally contribute at least $100 toward making our K-12 system among the top 20 percent in America.

It will be interesting to see how these perceptions change when we publish our comprehensive, annual poll at our May 19 PERSPECTIVE event.

Education Indicators (2014) Latest Data Prior Year Data Change vs. Prior Year
Total Enrollment 314,636 311,029 1.2%
High School Graduation Rate 70.9% 71.5% -0.6%
Students Average Attendance 94.8% 94.5% 0.3%
Students Per Teacher 22.0 24.0 -8.3%
Average Class Size - English 24.0 26.0 -7.7%
Average Class Size - Math 25.0 27.0 -7.4%
Average Class Size - Science 27.0 28.0 -3.6%
Average Class Size - Social Studies 27.0 29.0 -6.9%

Note: Indicators reflect the latest available data for the Clark County School District.

Please select the option that best describes how you feel about the quality of public K-­12 schools in your community.

  Excellent 1.85%
  Pretty Good 11.54%
  Average 32.88%
  Poor 39.28%
  Extremely Bad 14.44%

Please select the option that best describes how you feel about the quality of teachers in the public K-12 schools in your community.

  Excellent 3.13%
  Pretty Good 23.27%
  Average 42.44%
  Poor 22.05%
  Extremely Bad 9.11%

Please select the additional amount you would be willing to pay each year in order to make your community’s public schools among the top 20% in the country.

  $1,000 10.94%
  $500 6.07%
  $250 15.39%
  $100 28.42%
  $0 39.18%

Please select the option that best describes how you feel about the quality of colleges and universities in Nevada.

  Excellent 4.91%
  Pretty Good 26.96%
  Average 45.13%
  Poor 6.89%
  Extremely Bad 16.11%

Please select the option that best describes how much student loan debt you currently hold.

  $0 75.33%
  $1-$15,000 7.86%
  $15,001-$30,000 3.61%
  $30,001-$45,000 4.30%
  $45,001-$60,000 4.64%
  $60,001 or more 4.27%

Do you believe public schools in your community should receive additional funding in order to provide full-day kindergarten?

  Yes 59.86%
  No 40.14%

Do you believe public schools in your community should receive additional funding in order to provide special instruction for English Language Learners?

  Yes 55.81%
  No 44.19%

Do you believe parents should be able to send their children to any public school of their choice within their home county?

  Yes 77.42%
  No 22.58%

Should the state of Nevada increase the amount of money spent on public education, even if that means your taxes will increase?

  Yes 61.05%
  No 38.95%

Do you think teachers who work in poorer neighborhoods should be paid more than teachers who work in affluent neighborhoods?

  Yes 56.98%
  No 43.02%

The Las Vegas Perspective quarterly survey examined opinions and attitudes of the Southern Nevada workforce on the state of education in our community. The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance commissioned the web based survey between February 17-21.

Because this survey is intended to poll the Clark County workforce, results remove self-selected retirees and self-selected residents of other counties. Results were post-weighted to the 2010 demographic Census report for Clark County. The sample size of the survey is 319 with a margin of error of +/- 4.61 percent at the 90 percent confidence interval.

For questions about the survey results, its methodology, and its crosstabs, please contact Andrew Doughman at andrewd@lvgea.org

Andrew Doughman Communications Director, LVGEA

Economic Perspective

Southern Nevada Indicators Location Date Latest Data Change Vs. Prior year
Population (Demographer) Clark County 2014 2,069,450 1.9%
Unemployment Rate Las Vegas MSA Jan-2015 7.5% -1.4%
Establishment-Based Employment Las Vegas MSA Jan-2015 888,100 3.4%
Average Weekly Wages - Private Las Vegas MSA Jan-2015 $710 1.9%
Taxable Retail Sales Clark County Dec-2014 $3,603,117,097 10.9%
Visitor Volume Las Vegas Area Jan-2015 3,391,713 0.1%
Gross Casino Gaming Revenue Clark County Jan-2015 $838,162,115 7.8%
Existing Home Median Closing Price Las Vegas Area Dec-2014 $172,580 7.9%
New Home Median Closing Price Las Vegas Area Dec-2014 $293,582 -2.3%
Retail Market Vacancy Rate Las Vegas Area Q4 2014 9.4% 0.2%
Office Market Vacancy Rate Las Vegas Area Q4 2014 23.6% -0.7%
Industrial Market Vacancy Rate Las Vegas Area Q4 2014 8.1% -3.8%

With 2014 in the rearview mirror and the prospects for continuing economic gains on the horizon, it is clear the fundamentals of the economy are on more stable footing. Improvements in key metrics such as population and employment point toward an expanding base of local consumers, while a stronger tourist segment presses visitor volumes to record levels.

During 2014, Nevada’s population growth rate of 1.7 percent ranked second highest in the nation, behind only North Dakota. Locally, the resident base expanded by 1.9 percent to 2.1 million, reaching an all-time high for the community. Job-related opportunities remain the driving force for the majority of newcomers to the Las Vegas area. The latest data suggests employment expanded by 3.4 percent, adding 28,900 jobs in the past 12 months. Gains were across the board, with the leisure and hospitality sector leading the charge at 4.8 percent. Importantly, job growth is taking place in other key areas, including professional and business services (+4.5 percent); trade, transportation and utilities (+3.7 percent); and education and health services (+2.5 percent). Notably, the construction industry is benefiting from increasing demand for new investments with the sector posting an 11.6-percent gain.

The tourism industry is also benefitting from a rising volume of visitors that reached 41.1 million in the past year. While consumer spending within the industry continues to evolve in response to product offerings at resort-casino-hotels, increased stability overall is expected to pay dividends. Upwards of $10 billion of resort industry investments have either recently completed or remain in the works. While these figures may be a fraction of what was planned during the boom era of a decade ago, the projects are meaningful and are designed to further diversify the industry amenity profile. This shift is helping to attract a wide range of domestic and international travelers.

Overall, the prospects for southern Nevada are the brightest they have been since coming off the unsustainable peak of 2007. Despite consumers, investors, and developers operating from a position of caution, it appears their engines are revving in anticipation of what’s to come.

Brian Gordon Principal, Applied Analysis
  • Southern Nevada 1.9% Population Growth
  • Southern Nevada Employment Growth 3.4%
    28,900 jobs
  • Las Vegas Visitor Volume 41.1 Million