Scene in Passing: Change is constant, but what’s new here? |

Scene in Passing: Change is constant, but what’s new here?

John Barrette

“Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

With those words, 19th century French journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr nailed one of life’s enduring paradoxical truths. Loosely translated, it means the more things change, the more they stay the same.

A more precise rendering is “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing,” which is why a few nuggets in the Nevada state demographer’s 2032 projections for Carson City proved thought-provoking.

Jeff Hardcastle’s Nevada and local projections showed Carson City will grow to almost 64,000 residents by 2032, but the recent release also looked at growth of positions in private-sector career categories.

Health care and social assistance jobs, already the community’s largest category, are expected to grow by one-third in the city.

Accommodation and food services are projected to employ two-fifths more. Arts, entertainment and recreation posts are expected to grow 35 percent, finance and insurance by nearly 30 percent.

Professional, scientific and technical services likely will jump 62 percent, while jobs in administrative and waste management services are projected to leap 71 percent.

Manufacturing jobs could rise by more than one-fifth, management of companies and enterprises more than two-fifths, and construction even more at 42.4 percent.

Consequently, city government and a cooperating private sector need to stress building on such strengths in an unfolding future already headed in those directions. Let’s look at some examples.

Carson City residents are an average of two years older, speaking loosely, than those elsewhere. Life expectancy in developed nations is expected to go up 4.4 years in the next two decades. So health care and social services jobs will grow apace.

More retirees and leisure time mean that arts, entertainment and recreation will grow, as will accommodation and food services. This speaks to the Convention & Visitors Bureau’s recalibrated emphasis on events and recreation to help lure people here.

North America’s shale gas growth phenomenon could reanimate the economy and manufacturing, so small businesses with company or enterprise management positions and light industry with good jobs could thrive here.

City population, which Hardcastle said will be more robust than previously thought, plays into the construction rebound now budding after a not-so-great recession.

Opportunities abound as the river of habit keeps rolling along.

Carson City government and commerce can and should make sure that the more it changes here, the more it’s similarly writ larger with aplomb.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at