Northern Nevada:

As Economic Growth Slows, Workforce and Residential Issues are in Spotlight

While Northern Nevada’s economic growth streak begins to slow down, workforce and cost-of-living issues are in the spotlight. However, the region is still a hotbed of business activity, job creation, and population growth due to the environment local leaders have created and look to continue fostering in 2020.

That’s according to the most recent forecast hosted by the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN). The keynote speakers’ opinions spotlight intriguing viewpoints, trends and projections so your credit union can plan appropriately.

Northern Nevada
Presented on Jan. 23 by Applied Analysis (Principal Analyst Jeremy Aguero), entitled “State of the Economy in Northern Nevada”:

Northern Nevada’s economic growth is expected to continue in 2020 and possibly well into 2021. The Reno-Sparks, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and other northern regions are still finding value in continuing to distinguish themselves from the rest of the State of Nevada in business climate diversity (different industries) and innovations. Although no recession is expected to rock Northern Nevada’s economy in 2020, economic growth will continue slowing down. Nevada’s economic growth over the past several years has been a tale of two cities: the Reno-Sparks area versus the Las Vegas region — with Northern Nevada continuing to diversify away from gaming tourism (but still retaining a moderately strong leisure/hospitality sector in the northwest). As state and national experts continue looking out for the next impending economic slowdown and/or recession, the forecast report reminds: “Things are never as bad, or as good, as they seem.”

Some of Northern Nevada’s business leaders’ fears include an upcoming economic recession, but what they really should be worried about is “complacency,” the forecast presenter says. As Northern Nevada (especially the Reno-Sparks region) has exploded in population, innovative businesses, and new consumers, it would be easy for leaders to sit back and rest on their laurels. But if the region wants to continue positioning itself for success, it would do well to plan for the next 10 years (2020 – 2030) in terms of workforce development, housing inventory, continued business attraction, wage growth, government policies and other issues. The greater Reno-Sparks region added nearly 70,000 jobs over the past decade (about 57,000 of these came within the past five years — 2015 to 2019). Driving this number higher will take just as much planning, preparation and insight by local economic/business leaders and policymakers in the coming 10 years as the past 10 years.

In all its economic glory, Northern Nevada is continually impacted by job-wage growth that can’t keep up with other expenses for workers. Housing costs make up a large portion of these growing expenses. Other issues plague the region too: The State of Nevada has the highest rate of unsheltered unaccompanied homeless youth in the entire nation (84 percent); and 13.3 percent of Washoe County's population live in poverty. Also, more and more traffic congestion has been seeping into the area each year due to the confluence of population growth and infrastructure needing expansions and updates. Moreover, due to “property tax caps” and “dated assessment formulas,” the property tax structure “is not keeping pace with the need for new infrastructure spending,” the forecast presenter contends.

View the presentation slides for local economic trends leading up to February 2020: you can flip through Applied Analysis' "2020 and Beyond: The Future We Are Building" presentation by Principal Analyst Jeremy Aguero. You can also view the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada's (EDAWN) "State of the Economy in Northern Nevada" update presentation.

NV Jobs, Indicators, Stats and Outlook
RCG Economics has released its latest Nevada Jobs Flash Report. Additionally, the firm’s latest Northern Nevada metrics/indicators data was published in January. Also, click here for RCG Economics' "Northern Nevada Economic Planning Indicators Committee (EPIC) Report Update," with projections into 2023 or employment, population and household growth.

Also, Ekay Consultants has published its latest Reno MSA Economic Outlook indicators report, as well as the latest Reno MSA Industry Trends report.

Nevada Finance and Economic Trends
You can view the latest economic overview and state finance trends published by the Nevada Governor's Finance Office here.

Local Home Affordability Vs. Job Growth
The National Association of Realtors recently released a study (“Home Affordability Index Ranking and Payroll Job Growth") showing trends in how local housing affordability can contribute to slower local job growth by employers. View the data table for local metropolitan information in Nevada.

Northern Nevada Occupational/Industry Trends
Additionally, download Chmura Economics and Analytics’ latest Northern Nevada Economic Overview to see 10-year future trends in worker occupations, employment, wages, cost of living, and industries.

Your Local Region’s GDP: 2001 - 2018
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has released an overview and history on "Local Area Gross Domestic Product from 2001 - 2018" for individual counties in Nevada and the entire nation. It includes highlights and trend breakdowns for large, medium and small-population size counties, as well as the U.S. dollar size of economies for each county. Tables and files are included for download and review.

County Income and Poverty Estimates
The U.S. Census Bureau has released its "Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program", which gives single-year estimates of income and poverty for all counties in Nevada and the entire nation — as well as estimates of school-age children in poverty for all 13,000-plus school districts.

Employer-Worker Coalition Launched
Last year, more than 40 public and private entities in the Northwest Nevada region recently formed the Career and Technical Education Messaging Coalition of Northern Nevada (CTE-MCNN). The coalition's goal is to match potential employees with the many job and certificate opportunities available in the “New Nevada.” 

CTE-MCNN has created a website,, which provides students, college and school graduates, and job seekers one point of access to research “good, quality jobs and connect to training and job placement, while also allowing companies to brand to potential employees.” 

Demographic Profile and Projections: Washoe County and Carson City combined*

  • Total population: 516,000 (and will hit 587,000 by 2025).
  • Working-age individuals (15 - 64 years old): 66 percent of total population in 2015 (and will fall to 64 percent by 2025).
  • Labor force (at least 16 years old who are working/looking for a job): 264,000 out of 416,000 adult population.
  • Labor force participation rate (adults who “want” to work): 63 percent (or 264,000 individuals).
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8 percent (versus 3.8 in NV and 3.5 in U.S.)
  • Unemployed workers: 8,200.
  • Median household income: $61,900 as of 2019 (compared to $58,600 for NV and $60,400 for U.S.)
  • Poverty rate: 13 percent (versus 14 in NV and 13 in U.S.)
  • Education of population: 29 percent have a college degree; 34 percent some college; 24 percent high school diploma; and 13 percent no high school diploma.
  • * Data as of January 2020 from the Nevada Department of Taxation; Nevada Demographer’s Office; Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation; Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas; Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; U.S. Census Bureau; and Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pin It