Workforce Development Matters

Why Workforce Development Matters

The natural ebb and flow of labor force trends were disrupted by the COVID- 19 pandemic and have yet to return back to normalcy. Workforce and economic development data deliver insight on trends and shifts in the workforce, on a national, state, county, and city level. OWINN is dedicated to making data-driven decisions. The following section highlights recent workforce and economic data that frame the reason why workforce development and OWINN’s continued work in the State truly impacts the Nevada workforce.

Labor Force Participation Rate

The labor force participation rate is calculated by adding the total number of people who are employed (actively working) and unemployed (not working, but able to work and are actively seeking work) divided by the total population. This data demonstrates that Nevada’s workforce is below the national average for labor force engagement.

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Employment By Industry

Industry employment vastly ranges between Nevada’s two metropolitan areas. Leisure and hospitality is the main industry in Las Vegas, comprising 26 percent of total employment in January 2023. Trade, transportation, and utilities is the main industry in Reno-Sparks, accounting for 22 percent of total employment in January 2023. Government employment in both regions has fluctuated in both regions, especially in Reno over the past five years. Construction, mining, and financial activities fared well in Las Vegas and Reno both pre and post pandemic. The industries that experienced the most growth from January 2018 to January 2023 were construction in Las Vegas (grew 32 percent) and manufacturing in Reno (grew 45 percent).

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Unemployment Rates

Across the State, each county has experienced diverse unemployment trends during pre-COVID (January 2019), during COVID (January 2021), and current (January 2023). The areas with highest populations (Clark County, Washoe County, and Carson City) all witnessed higher unemployment rates during COVID, with the current rates dropping closer to their pre-pandemic levels.

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Unemployment Pre-covid

Across the State, each county has experienced diverse unemployment trends during pre-COVID (January 2019), during COVID (January 2021), and current (January 2023). The areas with highest populations (Clark County, Washoe County, and Carson City) all witnessed higher unemployment rates during COVID, with the current rates dropping closer to their pre-pandemic levels.

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Unemployment Gender

Males comprise a majority of those who are unemployed in Las Vegas and Reno. Nationally, the Census found that men lost more jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic but still surpassed the number of women in the labor force.

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Unemployment Age

The 25-34 age group has the highest unemployment rate; one fourth of Nevadans in that age group is unemployed in both Las Vegas and Reno. The 35-44 age group has the second highest unemployment rate for both cities. This is an important trend to highlight given that ages 25-44 fall within prime working years for an individual.

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Unemployment Race

It is important to examine the demographic makeup of those who are unemployed in the two largest metropolitan regions in the State. In both regions, Black or African Americans have a drastically higher percentage of unemployment compared to the percentage of the overall population.

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Current & Projected Employment

Short Description: The charts illustrate how COVID-19 impacted employment in Nevada’s largest cities and the projected employment growth over the next five years. Employment had significantly grown from 2017 to early 2020 before the pandemic wiped out hundreds of thousands of jobs for Nevadans.

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Top Growing Occupations

The Las Vegas workforce supply is constantly evolving. Occupations in management; legal; and life, physical and social sciences have all grown by 25 percent or more in the past five years. Office and administrative support occupations employ a majority of Southern Nevadans.

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Skills Mismatch

Skills mismatch refers to the difference level of education that a person has versus the level of education required for a particular job. In the chart, bars on the right of the axis indicate that there are more jobs that require either no formal education, a high school diploma or equivalent, or bachelor’s degree than the number of workers who have those credentials.

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Roadmap 2040

UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) initiated a project in 2022 called Roadmap 2040 that looks at the Las Vegas economy over the next 18 to 20 years using our annual population forecast. Every year since 1996, CBER has forecasted Clark County population over the next 40 years. To complete this forecast, CBER must forecast other variables such as the makeup of the workforce, the ratio of jobs to hotel rooms, growth in the leisure and hospitality industry, real GDP, and long-run PCE inflation. This forecast is used by the Las Vegas Valley Water Authority, Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, and government agencies in Clark County for their modeling of planned infrastructure development and service delivery. To learn more about this project, please review our 2023 Annual Report

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Nevada Industry Recognized Credentials

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