The Nevada job market is “restructuring,” economists say

Michelle Boyce recently stepped down from her position as a professional development specialist for Tech Impact, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit that helps young adults acquire job skills and find jobs. She started looking for work casually this summer and last month she finally took on an account manager position at the Las Vegas-based IT staffing firm Taurean Consulting.

“I felt it was time to grow up,” Boyce said. “I’m normally someone who stays at work for a year or two, but I’ve stayed with Tech Impact for four years. Not only for financial obligations, but also as a professional you know when it’s time for a challenge and professional growth “.

Boyce is not alone.

Recent economic data suggests the Nevada job market is restructuring as workers move from job to job. And like the rest of the state, the Las Vegas metropolitan area is experiencing high dropout rates or the pace of workers moving between jobs.

Stephen Miller, director of research at UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said it’s evident thanks to the current relationship between job opportunities and job seekers.

Historically, there are more jobs available than job seekers during expansive economic times and less than a one-to-one ratio during a recession. But the national rate began to rise above that ratio – of an estimate of one job per job seeker – in May 2021, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, on average, there are nearly two jobs for every unemployed person.

“Other people did not return to the job market because their children went to school remotely or were afraid of COVID because they work in an industry that requires face-to-face contact,” Miller said. “Las Vegas, we are very interested in the areas of face-to-face contact. Restaurants, bars, casinos all require face-to-face contact and now we are slowly adapting. ”

In June, the state passed prepandemic employment levels and is now adding more jobs. The Nevada Employment Office reported that the state achieved 1.45 million jobs in June, 3,000 more than the previous record set in February 2020. And state-specific data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLT, showed Nevada had 25% more hires than it had split up until June.

Boyce said he noticed the high number of vacancies over the past year, based on his job search and helping clients find jobs. He said applying for dozens of jobs can be tedious and take longer than expected, but he noted that many clients get new jobs.

‘The cake is getting bigger’

David Schmidt, chief economist at the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said he expects to see more neglect in the future, in part because Nevada’s population growth adds to its economic growth.

“Over the past two months, we are now more in expansion mode because we have made up for the jobs we lost,” said Schmidt. “And so now we’re pushing into new territory, but we’re still seeing pretty strong growth.

“In general, Nevada is bringing workers (and) we’re growing. Employment gains are not necessarily a loss to someone else in the state. The cake is not remixed. The cake is getting bigger. ”

The Las Vegas metropolitan area was the nation’s seventh-highest in terms of employment growth between July 2021 and July 2022, according to the BLS, with a 6.3% increase in nonfarm employment.

This and other measures, such as the 12-month average of about 70 percent of resignations as a share of total separations, suggest a worker’s confidence in their ability to leave their job for another opportunity or to retire, he said. Schmidt.

UNLV economists see these factors as a sign of a “Great Reassessment” – their take on last year’s “Great Resignation” trend, when workers were resigning for new opportunities.

“Essentially, there has been a shift in our workforce in recent years where many workers have moved from work to leisure and hospitality and potentially opened a new business (or joined a new industry). ), “Andrew Woods, director of the UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research, said. “Our sectors that were at the forefront to some extent and critical during the pandemic have one of the largest variations in the workforce.”

But there are signs of a slowdown on the way, especially as the Federal Reserve continues to take steps to slow inflation and cool hires by raising short-term interest rates.

JOLT data from July 2022 showed that the rate of people leaving jobs has slowed, and recently released data from the BLS Monthly Employment Report also shows that hiring has slowed as well. The economy added 315,000 jobs in August, up from 526,000 in July.

Schmidt said he saw the report as an indication that some macroeconomic forces are moderating.

“Nobody wants to be on that treadmill to look for work and change jobs,” said Schmidt. “I think a lot of people would generally prefer not to have to go through the strain of a job search all the time. It takes a lot of energy to do this. If you can find a place where you are happy, comfortable and earning what you need, it’s nice not to have to do that for a while. ”

McKenna Ross is a member of the Report for America body of work, a national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms. Contact her at To follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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