Staffing may have soft year

Economists and employment consultants are predicting a soft year ahead for hiring in Las Vegas and Nevada, as sustained lethargy in the housing market combines with slow growth in the resort sector to cap expansion ambitions among area businesses.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Center for Business and Economic Research are forecasting 2.1 percent job growth for Southern Nevada in 2008, while analysts at the state’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said they expect job formation to clock in at 1.9 percent statewide next year.

Those numbers are well below the state’s 5 percent and 6 percent job-growth rates of 2005 and 2006, but they’re an improvement on the 1 percent pace of recent months.

The employment department isn’t expecting a dramatic turnaround in job growth because economists there predict new jobs in residential construction will be hard to come by for much of 2008.

“The big key is still the pace of the housing recovery,” said Jim Shabi, an economist for the agency. “We’re still seeing negative growth in construction, and we’ll see that until the housing turnaround hits full speed.”

The credit crunch that accompanied the slackened housing market could also hinder business expansion in 2008, as companies find commercial loans harder to come by, said Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research. Plus, consumers could spend less on local goods and services due to flagging home equity and higher interest rates on credit cards and other loans.

And the hotel-casino segment won’t contribute substantial numbers of jobs to the local economy before 2009, Shabi added. The Palazzo will open later this month with about 4,000 employees, and Aliante Station should bring an addition 2,000 jobs to the city in 2008, but some of those positions will be replacing the thousands of jobs lost when older casinos such as the Stardust and the New Frontier closed to make way for growth.

“Two forces hit us hard at the same time,” Shabi said. “One was the housing slump, and then some losses in the gaming industry. The national economy slowed down as well.

“The business cycle has not been rescinded yet, and we’re at the low point of that cycle right now.”

At least one local employment consultant believes the second half of 2008 should bring stronger job growth, though.

Andy Katz, president of Manpower of Southern Nevada, believes the 6,000 or so new jobs generated in the Las Vegas Valley’s gaming industry in 2008 will yield greater demand for the ancillary companies that provide vendor services and products to hotel-casinos.

Katz is even predicting the beginnings of a labor shortage by late 2008.

Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter show that 72 percent of companies interviewed said they’ll maintain current staff levels, while 14 percent plan to hire more workers. Another 14 percent expect to pare work forces.

Planned job formation is down from the fourth quarter, when 18 percent of businesses surveyed said they’d increase staff numbers.

Some fields are positioned for more job growth than other industries will enjoy.

Statewide, the employment department anticipates the biggest job gains will be in education and health care. Those segments will experience a job-growth rate of nearly 4 percent, Shabi said. That’s because the state’s population has continued to grow, and schools, universities and hospitals are trying to keep pace with the needs of new residents, he said. Construction, on the other hand, will probably perform especially poorly for much of 2008, he said.

Katz foresees noticeable improvements in job numbers among retailers, call-center operators and other customer-service businesses.

Several national growth industries hold promise for job creation in Nevada, said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Chicago placement consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Energy offers expansion opportunities in a wide range of subspecialties, including oil and natural-gas development, nuclear power and alternative energies such as biofuels and wind, solar and geothermal power. Nevada’s abundance of the latter three elements could attract capital investment, making alternative energy a “strong driver” in the Silver State’s economy in 2008 and beyond, Challenger said.

“The demand for new sources of energy will create new ventures,” he said. “It’s a hot area, and one of those areas that could show significant offsetting effects to the housing crisis.”

Health care should also propel job growth nationally and locally, Challenger said. Traditional operations such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, physical-therapy practices and pharmacies will add considerable numbers of positions, he said, and the newer arena of biotechnology should also provide a steady stream of new employment.

Finally, Challenger is expecting significant new jobs among American companies that do business globally. International markets are expanding briskly, and a weak dollar means more firms from abroad will seek out opportunities in the United States. The result: Burgeoning demand for positions including translators and business-culture experts.

Still, the broader national job scene should barely creep along in 2008, Challenger said.

“Consumer confidence and purchasing power are sluggish, and the high price of energy is making it more difficult for people to fill their gas tanks and get to work,” he said. “We’ve got a housing crisis that’s not resolved yet, so all of that suggests slower growth in 2008.”

Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will also feel the effects of a torpid national economy, said Michael Alter, president of SurePayroll, an Illinois paycheck-cutting service that surveys more than 16,000 smaller operations monthly to gauge their hiring trends.

But Alter is projecting an above-par performance for small businesses in Nevada. Job growth at smaller enterprises has been slightly better than state job-formation averages: Nevada’s job creation was 0.9 percent year-over-year in October, while Nevada companies with 100 or fewer workers added 1.5 percent to their staff counts in roughly the same time period, SurePayroll’s numbers showed.

The nation’s economy grew its overall job base by 1.2 percent in October.

“I expect Nevada’s small businesses will continue to grow above the national average,” Alter said.

“There’s a broader economic base, and there are broader growth opportunities in the industries that predominate in Nevada. I just see that there will be more and more jobs in Nevada.”

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

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like