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Nevada Economy Ends Year on High Note

PHOTO: As the year winds down, Nevada's economy appears to be heating up as the state is reporting among the nation's strongest job growth. Photo courtesy of Clark County, Nevada.
PHOTO: As the year winds down, Nevada's economy appears to be heating up as the state is reporting among the nation's strongest job growth. Photo courtesy of Clark County, Nevada.
December 30, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada's economy is adding jobs faster than all other states except for Colorado and North Dakota. Bill Anderson, chief economist with the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says 3.8 percent job growth in the first half of 2014 reflects a gain of up to 40,000 new jobs.

"You can definitely see signs of a pickup in Nevada, and a recovery, at least on the jobs front," he says. "That's stronger than it is throughout the rest of the nation."

Anderson says professional and business services, as well as leisure and hospitality, are the leading sectors for job growth. He notes job gains measured in the thousands were also added in construction, health care and manufacturing.

Nevada ends the year with a 6.9 percent unemployment rate, which remains about a point above the national average. Anderson notes the state has come a long ways since the dark days of the Great Recession when Nevada's jobless rate peaked at 13.9 percent. He expects the positive jobs trend to continue.

"By the time we get out to 2017, we're looking at year-over-year job growth that approaches 50,000 a year, and a lot of that improvement in growth is attributable to the Tesla project," he says.

The Tesla project is the electric carmaker's so-called "gigafactory" to be built in the Reno area, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV