Another Opinion: Nevada should take hope that the economy is improving
The recent hiring by MGM Mirage – 12,000 workers for its new CityCenter attraction – brightened the employment picture in Nevada, but only for a short while.
With roughly 200,000 Nevadans of working age idled because of the state’s moribund economy, one hiring spree does not, unfortunately, signal a recovery.
How far we must go to achieve recovery is demonstrated in the Associated Press’s monthly Economic Stress Index, which gives a numerical grade to states and counties based on their unemployment rates and numbers of foreclosures and bankruptcies.
The latest index, released this week, calculated data for September. Nevada was the most economically stressed state in the nation.
While it is not evident here, the national economy is showing signs of improvement, meaning more people might get back to work and regain enough confidence to plan getaways to Nevada.
The latest economic reports show that sales are up for the Big Three automakers.
Manufacturing grew last month faster than it has in three years. The gross domestic product, the best measure of the overall economy, grew 3.5 percent during the July through September quarter. Home sales have been rising since summer. Construction spending is up. The stock market has been showing gains.
Some economists question whether all of this can be sustained. One answer was given by Warren Buffett, the most successful investor of our era. His investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, announced this week its purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, a deal worth $44 billion.
The railroad makes merchandise deliveries to Western and Midwestern markets.
In a statement, Buffett said he was betting on the U.S. to recover economically, adding that railroads cannot do well unless American businesses are producing goods and Americans are buying them.
President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill halted the economy’s decline and now many sectors are reporting growth. While Nevada is not yet seeing significant recovery, we believe in this old saying: A rising tide will lift all boats.