Carson City is only as good as its labor force |

Carson City is only as good as its labor force

the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board

Carson City was built on the back of its labor force, and the city’s future will be determined by its labor force.

Any prosperous community has an abundance of jobs that pay livable wages, provide benefits, and treat workers fairly. On those measures, Carson City has a huge asset going for it – state government. About one out of every four workers in the Carson City area are employed by the state, which, for the most part, ensures job security and fair treatment. Add to that another 11 percent of workers employed by federal and local government. Another significant percentage of the labor force in the area exists solely because of state government, providing support services.

It is because of those jobs that Carson City has at worst a stable future. In some ways, they compensate for the thousands of workers at the other end of the scale, those who work hard but struggle to get by on the wages they make. Many are uninsured, one catastrophe away from ruin. Even so, they are a critical component of the city’s economy.

That labor force has been victimized by the region’s booming housing market in recent years, which has put home ownership out of reach of many families.

To make strides as a livable community, to generate an ever-growing tax base, Carson City and the region as a whole must strive to make this a place where workers across the spectrum can optimistically pursue the American dream.

That will mean providing affordable housing, attracting good private-sector jobs, and creating a favorable climate for small business owners.

It’s fortunate that work is well under way to make these things happen. Carson City’s labor force deserves nothing less.