The local employment picture has been a dire one. In the past five years, the unemployment rate has more than tripled. That’s why a local company hiring 1,000 new employees is pretty good news.
Of course, even 1,000 jobs hardly puts a dent in the unemployment picture. With more than 140,000 Las Vegans out of work, even if every casino in town added 1,000 workers—and that’s just not going to happen—we’d still have an unemployment rate higher than it was four years ago.
More significant is what these hires say about the near-future of the Valley—and the nature of casino work.
The jobs themselves mean a lot, particularly to the people who got hired, but I think that long-term the more significant thing we can parse from this development is that we might be seeing a reverse of the trend towards fewer employees per position.
With 140,000 people out of work, though, even that’s not going to help really “put Las Vegas back to work.” All of the casinos in Clark County employ about 147,000 people. They’d each have to double their payrolls to solve the unemployment problem, and that’s clearly never going to happen. Moderately higher staffing levels across the industry will create a few thousand more jobs, but clearly Las Vegas is going to have to diversify.