When Nevada’s population and economy boom, the construction industry booms along with them. This trend was especially evident in the mid-2000s, as the industry quickly expanded to build new homes, shopping centers, and office complexes to keep up with the Silver State’s fast-growing population. Yet the arrival of the Great Recession and subsequent years of economic downturn slowed population growth to a trickle, pushed unemployment levels to a nationwide worst, and crippled demand for new building. The construction industry suffered more than most during this time. However, since bottoming out in early 2012, the construction sector has reported the fastest-growing employment in a state that once again ranks near the top in population and job growth.
The connection between construction employment and overall job trends in Nevada extends back at least 20 years. In the mid-1990s, the share of construction jobs reached 8 percent of all jobs in the state, a level that remained relatively steady for the following decade as average annual population growth climbed over 4 percent. In January 1994, 50,200 people were employed in Nevada’s construction industry. That number more than doubled over the next 10 years, reaching 102,800 in January 2004. During the following 30 months, the construction sector added nearly as many jobs (46,000) as in the previous decade (52,600). At its peak in June 2006, construction accounted for 148,800 jobs, or about 11 of every 100 jobs in the state.
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