Nevada continues to see job and population growth, according to a report out from the state demographer who projects population for the state and its counties. As of July, Nevada has recovered the jobs that were lost between the peak of employment in May 2007 and September 2010. The state population is projected to increase more than 425,000 from 2015 through 2035.
“Nevada has recently regained the jobs that were lost since the peak of employment in 2007,” said state demographer, Jeff Hardcastle. “Compared to the rest of the country and surrounding states, we were behind, but our 2.6 percent rate since the bottom is the second highest in our 6-state region. This was due to strong growth in 2014.”
Nationally and regionally, with the exception of Arizona, lost jobs were regained by 2014. Nationally, 173 percent of lost jobs have been regained.
Gaming continues to be the largest employer in Nevada, with more than 370,000 jobs in the Accommodation and Food Services sector and the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation sector, Hardcastle said. The next two largest sectors combined, Health Care and Retail, account for 297,000 jobs. Hardcastle points out manufacturing in Nevada could counter a possible national trend of decreased employment over the long term and increase from around 47,000 jobs to nearly 53,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
Nevada is also becoming more competitive in the Transportation and Warehousing sector and the Management of Companies and Enterprises sector.
Population projections for Nevada continue to point to growth over the next 20 years, but are down a little from 2014 projections. Current projections anticipate the number of people in Nevada to grow by 425,863 from 2015 to 2035.
“Preparing these projections reinforced how much economic and demographic conditions continue to evolve,” said Hardcastle. “The 2014 projections were for Nevada to grow by 528,107 for the period of 2013 to 2033. With this year’s projections, we’re now looking at an increase of 498,815 for that period.”
Clark and Washoe Counties are likely to see the largest population growth: Clark County could see an increase of 319,501 and Washoe County an increase of 83,926. Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties could see a collective population increase of 25,670. Latest estimates have Churchill County’s population growing to more than 31,000 people.
Some counties could see their populations go down: Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander and Pershing Counties could see a decrease of 510, and the balance of the state — Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye and White Pine Counties — could see a decrease of 2,725. In contrast, the 2014 projections showed increases across all these areas and nearly 60 percent more than the current projections for Northwestern Nevada.
Population projections are created using the Regional Economics Model, Inc. (REMI). The model allows Hardcastle to consider the historic relationship between the Nevada economy and demographic composition of the state and how that relates to national changes as well as changes in counties throughout the state. One of the biggest changes between the 2014 and current projections is the national forecast with fewer jobs and fewer people participating in the labor force as the population ages.
These population projections are calculated annually and are used in preparing the state’s budget and for other planning purposes. The state demographer is housed within the Nevada Department of Taxation.
The full report discusses underemployment, education and migration, economic diversity, and how Nevada is doing compared to neighboring states. It’s available on the Department of Taxation’s Population Statistics and Reports.