Report projects Nevada’s economy will rebound by 2010
CARSON CITY – State economists predict Nevada’s economy will rebound by 2010, fueled mainly by an ongoing construction boom of megaresorts in Southern Nevada that likely will improve the housing market.
“There is reason to be optimistic about Nevada’s long-term economic outlook,” state economist Bill Anderson said in a report released Tuesday by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
The report, however, also contained a note of uncertainty and caution. “If the national economy weakens further and slips into recession, Nevada will feel the impacts, in part via fewer-than-anticipated visitors and lower discretionary incomes,” Anderson said in a written release.
“Continued credit market volatility could prolong the problems in the residential housing sector and perhaps even spill over into the nonresidential side, delaying our recovery in Nevada.”
Employment growth grew to more than 6 percent as recently as 2005, when Nevada led the nation in job creation in large part on a thriving construction industry.
But that slowed, mainly on the weight of the new-home market that has come to a near-standstill in places, with job growth in 2007 at a comparatively anemic 1.4 percent statewide – the slowest since 2002.
Anderson said improvement is expected to begin in earnest in 2009, with job growth reaching 5.1 percent statewide by the third quarter of 2010.
“The recent housing boom and crash … will continue to impact the state’s labor markets in the near term,” Anderson said.
But megaresorts under way along the Las Vegas Strip will boost employment next year and beyond, he said, adding construction jobs, then leisure and hospitality employment.
Job growth in Washoe County as of December essentially was flat at 0.4 percent and in Carson City, it was minus 0.9 percent.
But in Washoe and surrounding counties, no major economic drivers appear on the horizon, and gaming is not in expansion mode, Anderson said, and that portends a longer wait to emerge from the current economic downturn.
“An improvement in California’s economic performance would be a positive for the region,” he said.
He said exports are gaining momentum, which could help support Northern Nevada’s manufacturing industry.
“However, housing-related manufacturing is a significant drag on the sector,” he said.
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