During the first half of 2018, Southern Nevada continued to report new highs in terms of job counts. June marked the 88th consecutive month of positive year-over-year job growth in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, with employment reaching 1,002,900. The area added 28,800 jobs over the past year, resulting in a job growth rate of 3.0 percent, nearly double the national average.
Over the past year, nearly every employment sector in Southern Nevada expanded. Government and construction
were the leading sectors as each added over 5,000 jobs. The government sector added 5,900 jobs (+6.1 percent), and the construction sector added 5,400 jobs (+9.1 percent). Other notable areas of growth included the trade, transportation and utilities sector that added 4,500 jobs (+2.6 percent), education and health services added 3,500 jobs (+3.6 percent) and the leisure and hospitality sector added 3,200 jobs (+1.1 percent).
Southern Nevada’s strong employment growth helped edge down the area’s unemployment rate. As of June, the unemployment rate in the Las Vegas metropolitan area was 4.7 percent, reflecting a decrease of 0.8 percentage points from a year ago. The
area’s unemployment rate continues to close in on the U.S. rate as Southern Nevada’s employment growth outpaces that of the national average. The positive job performance has put upward pressure on wages in a number of sectors. Average weekly wages in Southern Nevada’s private sector also continued to increase, rising 3.4 percent in June 2018 compared to the prior year. This pace of growth is consistent with the national average. It is worth noting that construction-related wages statewide increased 8.5 percent during the same time frame.
Overall, the Southern Nevada job market continues to respond to a relatively robust economic expansion, including an active
construction and development environment. Importantly, the diversity in job creation provides a stabilizing foundation from which future growth can be measured.