89°F
weather icon Clear

Nevada saw jump in construction jobs amid coronavirus

Updated April 21, 2020 - 8:17 am

Nevada construction employment growth led the nation last month with another Southwestern state, even as the coronavirus pandemic started shutting down the economy and hard hats lost jobs around the U.S.

An estimated 101,100 people worked in Nevada’s construction industry in March, up 2 percent from February, tied with New Mexico for the biggest month-to-month percentage jump in the nation, the Associated General Contractors of America recently reported.

The trade association, which reported seasonally adjusted data, said construction employment rose month to month in 24 states, “held steady” in six, and tumbled in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

All told, the figures mark “a rapid deterioration in a previously vibrant job market for construction,” the group said.

“While construction employment declined in many parts of the country last month, far more states, local governments and project owners have halted construction in the five weeks since the government collected this data,” AGC chief economist Ken Simonson said in a news release. “Our two latest surveys show a steep rise in cancellations of scheduled projects, which is leading to furloughs and terminations for both jobsite and office workers.”

Projects on hold

Construction has been allowed to continue across the U.S., including in Nevada, during the pandemic while casinos and other businesses have been ordered closed to help contain the virus’ spread.

Still, the developers of two major Las Vegas projects have suspended construction amid the turmoil.

Drew Las Vegas owner Steve Witkoff’s namesake firm said last month it “paused construction crews” from coming on-site at the 67-story hotel-casino — the unfinished former Fontainebleau — and asked corporate employees to work from home.

Two weeks later, developers of MSG Sphere at The Venetian said they no longer expect to finish the $1.66 billion entertainment venue next year, pulling the plug on construction because of the pandemic.

When asked at a news conference this month why construction was deemed essential in Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak noted he kept mining and manufacturing open as well, and he doesn’t want “another 100,000 or more filing for unemployment if I can avoid it.”

He also said job sites have adopted increased protocols, and “it seems to be OK, but we’re reviewing it on a regular basis.”

Coronavirus hits construction industry

State officials have released guidance saying Nevada construction sites should ensure workers remain 6 feet apart, restrict meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people and conduct daily surveys of workers’ health conditions.

Several workers, spread among high-profile Las Vegas projects, are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

They include four workers at the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas hotel-casino project; three at the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium; and one at the 777-room Circa hotel-casino project, downtown’s first newly built resort in decades.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. MSG Sphere is a project by Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. and Las Vegas Sands.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Is Nevada the ‘gold standard’ for casino coronavirus response? - Video
Whenever experts begin comparing gaming jurisdictions, you’re bound to hear the phrase “gold standard” dropped in the conversation. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resorts World Las Vegas activates 100,000-square-foot LED screen - VIDEO
Resorts World Las Vegas activated its 100,000-square-foot LED screen on its west tower on Independence Day, showing a digital fireworks display. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Station Casinos president dies in watercraft accident - VIDEO
Richard Haskins, president of Red Rock Resorts Inc. and Station Casinos, died Saturday in a watercraft accident in Michigan, according to a statement released by the company. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hockey arena opponents erred in ballot initiative - Video
Opponents of a minor league hockey arena in Henderson collected enough verified signatures to put the disputed project on the November ballot, but then a problem emerged: A procedural error on the petition.
Layoffs at 'The Drew' force staff to sue owner
Rj Business reporter Eli Segall talks about the lawsuit and the future of the unfinished hotel and casino.
Vegas tourists react to mask mandate - VIDEO
Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Wednesday a mandate to wear face masks starting Friday. Down on the Las Vegas Strip tourists reacted on camera to the news. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA #VegasSmart social media campaign brings awareness to wearing a mask - Video
Now that Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced requirements to wear masks in public settings in the state, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will attempt to deliver the message to prospective visitors via their #VegasSmart social media campaign. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's unemployment crisis - Video
Thousands of jobless workers turned to the state for payments after the COVID-19 shutdown in March. DETR has struggled to handle record claims. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars mandates guests to wear masks
Guests at Caesars Entertainment Corp. properties will be required to wear masks while inside its properties, effective immediately.
MGM Grand and Aria are reopening pool clubs - Video
MGM Grand’s Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Aria’s Liquid Pool Lounge plan to open July 2, according to a Wednesday statement from MGM Resorts International and Hakkasan Group. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Survey shows big reluctance to travel with coronavirus ablaze - VIDEO
Would-be travelers are becoming more pessimistic in their outlook about their safety when they travel. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown's Circa resort will begin taking room reservations Wednesday - Video
Circa developer Derek Stevens confirmed that when the property opens on Oct. 28, persons under the age of 21 won’t be allowed. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations - Video
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort will begin taking room reservations on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Culinary union expresses concerns about returning to work - Video
The Culinary union expresses its concerns about returning to work and the safety precautions that casinos are taking to ensure the safety of staff.
Bellagio poker room reopens with approval to host six-handed games - Video
The installation of plexiglass dividers between the players gave the Bellagio an edge over the other poker rooms open in Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Westgate reopens after coronavirus shutdown - Video
Jay Kornegay, vice president of Westgate Sportsbook, talks about the reopening of the casino on Thursday, June 18. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Final beam of Circa resort tower moved into place - Video
A crane whisked the final beam in the construction of downtown Las Vegas’ Circa resort property into place Friday morning, June 19, and crews paused momentarily, then continued working to ensure the casino's Oct. 28 opening. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paris Las Vegas reopens - Video
The Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino reopened its doors on June 18 after the statewide shutdown in response to COVID-19. (Mackenzie Behm/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Masks required at casino table games in Nevada - Video
The state Gaming Control Board has ordered Nevada casinos to require players and spectators of most casino table and card games to wear protective face coverings.
Downtown Las Vegas’ Circa to open in October - Video
Circa resort-casino’s first five floors are set to open Oct. 28, according to CEO and developer Derek Stevens. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas movie theaters set July reopening date - Video
Las Vegas movie theater reopenings will start Regal, the valley’s largest exhibitor, announced Tuesday that it will reopen its theaters starting July 10, albeit in a modified fashion. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas - Video
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Contractors say they’re owed $36M for work done at Drew Las Vegas
Three months after coronavirus turmoil shut off construction of the Drew Las Vegas, contractors have levied claims for more than $36 million in unpaid bills. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Many Las Vegas guests ignoring COVID-19 protocols
Casinos are putting safety first but many Las Vegas guests are not socially distancing.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, not every employee is convinced it's safe to go back.
As Las Vegas casinos reopen, some employees aren't convinced it's safe to go back.
1.54M Americans filed for unemployment last week - Video
The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday, June 11. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week
1.54 Million Americans Filed for Unemployment Last Week. The U.S. Labor Department released the unemployment numbers on Thursday. The number of jobless claims was just below economists' predictions of 1.55 million claims. 1.897 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance the previous week. More than 44 million Americans have filed jobless claims in the past three months. Continuing claims nearly topped 21 million. The numbers follow the May jobs report, which revealed that more than two million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in May. Initial jobless claims continued the gradual downward trend. But it is still hard to square the claims figures with the much more upbeat news on the labor market from May’s Employment Report, Capital Economics, via Yahoo Finance
Visitors return to Las Vegas
Guests returned to Las Vegas casinos throughout the weekend. Casinos reopened on Thursday after being closed for 78 days because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Sisolak tours casino property after reopening - Video
Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sandra Morgan, chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, participated in a tour of the Wynn Las Vegas hotel-casino where they share their first thoughts on casinos reopening. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Treasure Island reboots operations after coronavirus shutdown - Video
When casinos shut down, not only were tourists unseen on the Las Vegas Strip, but jobs were temporarily lost. Treasure Island took the months off to remodel and fix the property, adjusting the casino for COVID-19 norms. Now that they’re open again, management is slowly hiring back staff as guests return. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
Lake Las Vegas beach mansion lists for nearly $6M

A Mediterranean-style mansion on the south shore of Lake Las Vegas has hit the market for $5.95 million, and it’s as if you’re transported to northern Italy with its views overlooking the water.

Apartment complex to open in Arts District

The 63-unit Share Downtown, at the corner of Casino Center Boulevard and Colorado Avenue, is scheduled to open later this month, with the first 16 units now available for lease, management announced Wednesday.