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Las Vegas Job News Is Good News

Any news about jobs coming to Southern Nevada is always welcome, and that’s no truer than today as our economy continues to regain its footing amid the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeremy Aguero, Principal Of Applied Analysis reported on the current and future Las Vegas Economy.  This is a reprint from his monthly article “A Positive Outlook” hosted by Nevada State Bank. Graphics added from the Las Vegas Realtors presentation by Brian Gordon, Principal of Applied Analysis.

Jeremy Aguero, Principal, Applied Analysis

With that in mind, I couldn’t be happier at the latest economic development news involving more than a dozen companies bringing thousands of new jobs to an economy that certainly needs them.

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance announced in September that 13 companies would receive state tax incentives to relocate to Southern Nevada or expand their existing operations here.

In total, those companies are projected to add more than 2,300 jobs over the next five years, along with $490 million in capital investment in their first two years of operations. These companies represent a wide cross-section of industries, including manufacturing, logistics and distribution, and video production, among others, helping to diversify and strengthen the economy.

The companies include examples of the beneficial cycle of investment and success made possible through economic development programs. Self-driving vehicle company Aptiv came to Southern Nevada in 2018 thanks to economic development assistance incentives. Since then, its local workforce has grown to about 250 as it developed and tested its self-driving vehicle technology in Las Vegas under a partnership with ride-hailing company Lyft. After a new partnership with automaker Hyundai, along with a name change to Motional, the company received additional support to help expand its Las Vegas development and testing facility as it ramps up to full commercial deployment of its robo-taxi service in 2023.

Although the cars will not have a driver, they are not fully autonomous. Remote drivers will control the cars using proprietary technology.

The LVGEA’s September announcement would be notable on its own, but it was just the latest positive news for Southern Nevada’s economic development efforts, which are on pace for a record year despite the pandemic.

In the first nine months of the year, the LVGEA and its local economic development partners have assisted 34 companies to relocate to or expand operations in Southern Nevada, bringing with them nearly 5,800 jobs combined with more than $1.1 billion in capital investment.

On a total jobs basis, that’s like opening a new resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

For additional context, the year-to-date numbers are better than the prior two years combined, and the number of new jobs created in 2021 is on pace for the best year ever. These are good-paying jobs, too, paying $5 more per hour than the state’s average hourly wage.

Economic development programs at the state and local levels have long been a critical element of Nevada’s efforts to diversify and strengthen its economy.

The tourism industry is, and will continue to be, the heartbeat of Southern Nevada’s economy. But as we’ve witnessed over the past decade, tourism can be vulnerable to broader economic downturns, whether they are triggered by once-a-generation economic meltdowns or once-a-century global pandemics.

Adding diversity to the fabric of our economy helps soften the blow when a downturn inevitably hits.

A great example is Southern Nevada’s transportation and warehousing industry, which had been growing for years thanks to the rising popularity of online shopping and the need for logistics and distribution centers for order fulfillment.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, so much of the economy ground to a halt, yet the transportation and warehousing industry flourished as online sales surged. In fact, the industry is one of the few that actually added jobs since the start of the pandemic. Those gains were made possible in part by earlier economic development efforts to help online retailers such as Amazon, Fanatics and The Honest Company expand their businesses in Southern Nevada.

Relocating and expanding businesses will no doubt benefit our community in the years ahead, and we should celebrate the economic development professionals who worked diligently to help bring them here.

We should also take pride in our community and the fact that even during its most challenging economic period, Southern Nevada remains an in-demand destination, not only for visitors but also for businesses seeking new opportunities to innovate, expand and flourish.

Jeremy Aguero, Principal, Applied Analysis

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