Early into the new year, the Silver State’s economic recovery has built on the momentum of the second half of 2021. The result of that momentum was evident in the latest employment numbers, which show that Nevada has nearly recovered all of the jobs that were lost in the early months of the pandemic. Although the total number of jobs now mirrors pre-pandemic levels, gains and losses among some industries reflected compositional shifts based on broader economic trends, including the lag in tourism activity and the explosive growth in online shopping.

In February 2022, Nevada gained 133,200 jobs over the prior year to bring employment to 1.425 million, just 9,000 jobs short of the 1.434 million in February 2020. The state’s largest employment sector, the leisure and hospitality industry, accounted for more than half of the overall job gains over that timeframe, adding 68,500 positions as visitor volume bounced back. However, the leisure and hospitality industry remained 32,100 positions short (-9.1 percent) of prepandemic levels due to a combination of still-recovering visitation and operational adjustments in the tourism industry that have reduced the need for some staffed positions

While the leisure and hospitality industry continued its employment recovery, other industries have regained their lost jobs and then some. One industry in particular has expanded significantly over the past two years as consumer demand for online shopping exploded during the pandemic. Since February 2020, the transportation and warehousing industry in Nevada grew by 20,500 jobs (+28.2 percent) as logistics and fulfillment needs boomed along with online retail sales. For context, retail sales for online-only retailers in the state more than doubled from $2.3 billion in 2019 to $5.5 billion in 2021. The traditional retail sector also exceeded pre-pandemic employment, adding 5,800 positions (+3.9 percent) since February 2020.

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