Clark County job growth ranks 25th of 355, but wage growth ranks 309th

punch in, punch out, repeat
"Art Lab punch clock" by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
punch in, punch out, repeat
“Art Lab punch clock” by Bernard Polet is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Of the 355 largest counties in the nation, Clark County sported the 25th highest job growth between March 2018 and March 2019, according to preliminary data reported last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But Clark County’s wage growth was less robust, coming in 309th.

Clark County recorded a 3.1 percent job growth rate during the 12 months. The national job growth rate was 1.4 percent.

By contrast, the average weekly wage in Clark County rose by 0.7 percent, or one fourth the 2.8 percent national increase.

In Washoe County, jobs grew by 1.4 percent, ranking 94th of the 355 counties in the data, and the average weekly wage increase of 3 percent ranked 136th.

The ranked data released last week echoes other indications that Nevada’s economic recovery from the crash, especially in Southern Nevada, has been a low-wage affair.

For instance, the overall size of the state’s economy has grown much more than median household incomes.

State data released earlier this month showed the Great Recession made structural changes that have created a more part-time and precariously employed workforce than Nevada had prior to the economic crash.

A Federal Reserve Bank analysis late last year reported population in both the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas had grown more than twice the national average, yet per capita income had grown less than half the national average.

“Places like Las Vegas and parts of Florida have seen their growth on the back of very low-wage jobs, so in a sense they’re growing poorer as they grow,” said a Federal Reserve Bank analyst when that report was released in November.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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