Data: Uptick for Las Vegas workers’ wages tiny

How does an annual pay increase of 6 percent to 12 percent sound to you?

If you’re in software engineering, health care or another skilled field in Las Vegas, it should sound about right.

Professionals in technical sectors are enjoying big wage gains, as a shortage of specialized local workers drives up asking prices for skilled labor, said William Werksman, managing partner of Las Vegas staffing firm Resource Partners.

But average pay in all local industries continues to languish. Local research and consulting firm Applied Analysis reported weekly average earnings in Las Vegas of $670 in July, up just $3 from July 2010, and well below a July 2007 peak of $751.

That indicates the job market remains fragile and businesses lack the revenue to justify higher wages, said Brian Gordon, a principal of Applied Analysis.

"We haven’t seen a lot of upward pressure on average weekly earnings, and the upticks we have seen are largely sourced to seasonality," Gordon said.

Pay trends vary by sector.

Local manufacturing wages ticked down to a weekly average of $547 in July, compared with $549 a year earlier and $597 at their September 2007 apex.

Leisure and hospitality pay statewide slumped to $418, down from $445 in July 2010 and a high of $521 in June 2007.

Among Las Vegas businesses with fewer than 100 workers, the average paycheck shrank 5.4 percent from July to August, according to Illinois-based payroll-processing company SurePayroll.

Construction wages in Las Vegas jumped to $755 a week, up from $673 a week in July 2010, possibly because of steep declines in the labor force, as fewer workers share available hours and pay, Gordon said. Still, weekly construction wages are well below their June 2008 high of $897.

In retail, local weekly pay jumped to $404, up from $381 a year earlier, as tourism picked up. Retail wages were down from a June 2008 peak of $480.

Other locals seeing noticeable recent pay gains include product managers, who supervise a good from idea to completion, and salespeople who market high-tech products such as computer software and hardware, Werksman said. Senior managers and executives in hospitality are also seeing better earnings as competing resorts pay above-market prices to lure them away.

Werksman said workers with in-demand specialty skills can get pay jumps of 6 percent to 12 percent, particularly when they switch jobs.

At Desert Research Institute, the research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education, researchers could take home 12.6 percent more per year.

The institute says it needs to boost researchers’ earnings, which average $90,000 a year, to hang on to talent. The institute, which has 130 researchers, has lost more than 15 researchers in two years to greener pastures with better pay, tenure or a lower cost of living, said Public Information Officer Kelly Frank.

The pay bump will come out of the researchers’ contracts and grants, not from state funds, Frank said. She noted that researchers who move out of Nevada take their grants with them.

"If we don’t do something to maintain the faculty we have and help encourage new faculty, this money will leave the state," she said. "You don’t want to cap ingenuity. If we’re not on par with what other research institutes across the country offer, then we need to make ourselves more competitive."

The institute on Friday will ask the Board of Regents to approve the raises.

For lower-skilled workers, observers said they see few indications that wages will rise anytime soon.

Experts forecast pay increases using two key trends: Placement of temporary workers and average number of hours worked per week. More temp workers mean companies are enjoying sales jumps, and could soon need full-time hires to meet demand. And businesses add weekly hours for existing employees before they begin hiring new workers.

Neither indicator shows much promise for Las Vegas.

Werksman said he hasn’t seen any big bump in demand for temp workers. Plus, hours worked fell to an average of 33.2 per week across all local industries in July, down from 34.4 in July 2010 and a peak of 37.6 in July 2007.

"We’re going to be treading water for a little while, until there’s more certainty in terms of creating a confidence level that will allow business leaders to expand," Werksman said.

Gordon added that business owners would need several quarters of economic expansion before they spent more on hiring and wages.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4512.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like