Nevada Economic Update

"With U.S. consumption spending rising for the ninth straight month, the Nevada economy continues to show uneven signs of recovery," said Stephen P. A. Brown, PhD, Director, Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on February 11, 2011. "For the second half 2010, Nevada visitor volume was up 2.6% over second half 2009. Gaming revenues for second half 2010 were up 1.5% over second half 2009, with December gaming revenue 2.0% above November but 2.4% below a year earlier. Even with tourism and gaming showing signs of improvement in second half 2010, the Nevada unemployment rate rose to a record high of 14.6% in December.

"The economic picture for Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, has been more robust than the state as a whole," Brown continued. "Visitor volume for second half 2010 was up 3.2% over second half 2009. Gaming revenues for second half 2010 were up 2.3% over second half 2009, with December gaming revenue 2.5% above November but 2.6% below a year earlier. November taxable sales were down 1.4% from October but higher than a year earlier. Residential construction permits surged upward and Las Vegas employment nudged upward in December. On the less favorable side, the Las Vegas unemployment rate rose to 14.9% in December, nearly matching the record high of 15.0% set in September.

"With the national recovery picking up steam, the Nevada economy shows uneven signs of growth. Given the reluctance of businesses to invest and hire, the growth of the U.S. economy is likely to remain uneven, which will likely mean a continued slow and uneven recovery for the Nevada economy. The Southern Nevada real estate and construction sectors are likely close to bottom. Some real estate experts have voiced opinion that the remaining overhang of residential and commercial space in Southern Nevada is of sufficiently low quality that the market for higher-quality real estate will show improvement in 2011," Brown concluded.

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