New jobs put state ahead of U.S. | NevadaAppeal.com

New jobs put state ahead of U.S.

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer

Nevada job gains have topped the nation for the 11th straight quarter, with the leisure and hospitality sector adding the most jobs in the third quarter. Job gains in the construction sector followed close behind, according to a state economic profile released Tuesday.

A Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. manager said Nevada’s strongest job growth continues to be in casinos. This comes despite local and state officials’ efforts to diversify the economy and create strong employment bases in areas other than tourism.

Out of the 72,233 new jobs in the state, 16,733 of those were in the leisure/hospitality sector, which is a low-paying sector. The average annual salary for those employees is $26,000.

The state maintained its first-place rank in new job growth because the gaming industry attracts a lot of people and continues to expand, said Catherine Phillips-Olsen, deposit insurance corporation regional manager in the San Francisco regional office.

“It’s a long time to be placing first,” Phillips-Olsen said. “Arizona comes right behind Nevada and keeps trying to take over.”

The surge of 16,033 new jobs in the construction sector can partly be attributed to the mega-resort casinos in Las Vegas, she said. The average annual salary for those working in the construction sector is $42,000.

Data for the first quarter of 2005, the most recent data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show that year-to-year Nevada wages increased 2.6 percent, faster than the rest of the nation at 2.2 percent.

Michele Petee, center manager for Carson JobConnect, said the state numbers reflect Carson City’s job climate.

“There’s a lot of competition for qualified workers, which forces employers to pay better wages, provide better benefits, treat their employees better,” she said. ” Wages continue to rise due to competition for workers and we don’t really see it ending any time soon.”

Nevada added 28 banking offices year-to-year and ranked fourth nationally in office growth, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported.

“Population/job growth, the health of our Nevada economy, the quality of life, the relatively higher margins in the West and a friendly business atmosphere, coupled with bank consolidations, makes our market very attractive to all financial institutions,” said Greg Nixon, Irwin Union Bank market president in Carson City.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

By the numbers

Nevada Q3 2005 at a glance:

Single-family home permits: up 16.4 percent from a year ago

Multi-family home permits: up 183.8 percent

Existing home sales: up .3 percent

Non-business bankruptcy filing per 1,000 people: 9.77

This is the highest third-quarter bankruptcy filing for the state in more than 10 years. The FDIC attributes that to the bankruptcy law changes that went into effect after the third quarter.

Source: FDIC State Profile