Leisure/hospitality employment still only 4/5 what it was pre-pandemic

By: - November 18, 2021 4:12 pm

The leisure and hospitality sector, historically Nevada’s largest, is still roughly 77,000 jobs shy of pre-pandemic totals.(Photo by Ronda Churchill)

There were nearly 100,000 more jobs in Nevada last month than there were the previous October, but the workforce is still about 80,000 jobs shy of pre-pandemic levels, with jobs failing to return in the leisure and hospitality sector accounting for the shortfall, according to data announced by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Thursday.

DETR’s October 2021 employment report puts the total workforce at 1,363,900.

The size of the state’s workforce peaked in February 2020 at 1,442,800.

The largest job growth over the last year was in the state’s largest pre-pandemic workforce sector, leisure and hospitality, with nearly 35,000 more jobs than in October 2020. That brought the total size of the  workforce to 279,700. But that’s still roughly 77,000 jobs shy of the sector’s pre-pandemic total of 356,500.

Edging out leisure and hospitality as the state’s largest employment sector in October 2021 was trade, transportation and utilities, a sector that includes what has been one of Nevada’s and the nation’s most common occupations for decades, retail trade. The sector added 18,500 jobs over the prior 12 months, returning to a total workforce size of 283,000, same as on the eve of the pandemic in February 2020.

(DETR chart)

Professional and business services employment comprised the state’s third largest workforce in October, with 199,900 jobs, not far below the sector’s pre-pandemic level of 204, 600. While the sector includes higher quality jobs in company management or professional, scientific and technical services, the most common occupations are office administration and clerical work, security, and janitorial services.

Nevada has had the highest or nearly the highest unemployment rate throughout the pandemic, and that remained the case in October, with a state rate of 7.3%, a slight dip from the nation-leading rate of 7.5% recorded in September.



Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson 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 author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.