The pandemic stunted a wide swath of Nevada’s economy, but one industry that proved resilient throughout the pandemic years was construction. Buoyed by strong housing demand, the industry has been a bright spot in the state’s economic recovery, regaining its lost jobs sooner than most industries and continuing to grow and surpass pre-pandemic levels.

The initial impact of the pandemic dealt a blow to Nevada’s construction industry, which lost 6.5 percent of employment in one month in April 2020. However, unlike most other statewide industries, construction started to recover immediately and recovered all of the lost jobs within a year. The recovery curve has continued since then, with construction employment topping out at 102,500 in May 2022, a 10-year high. The Northern Nevada construction industry was leading the recent rebound, with the latest job total of 21,200 being 11.0 percent higher than the peak in 2019. In Southern Nevada, construction employment climbed to 73,800 positions in May 2022, surpassing the October 2019 peak for the first time.

The growth in construction employment has been fueled by a booming housing market and strong demand for new homes. Nevada homebuilders ramped up production throughout the pandemic to meet that demand, and in the 12 months through April 2022, the number of new home permits issued in the state totaled 24,283, 27.2 percent higher than the pre-pandemic high of 19,044 and the highest total since 2008. The bulk of new home construction has occurred in Southern Nevada, where 16,981 new home permits were issued in the 12 months through April 2022 to outpace the pre-pandemic total by 36.7 percent. In Northern Nevada, 5,830 new home permits had been issued over the prior year, 7.5 percent higher than the pre-pandemic level.

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