Nevada’s economy continues to show solid growth, although various metrics indicate that growth is slowing compared to previous years. Year-over-year employment growth in Nevada dropped to 2.2 percent in October 2019, the first time the growth rate has slipped below 3 percent since March 2018 when it registered 2.9 percent. Elko County has recorded nearly identical employment growth over the past year, with a year-over-year increase of 2.1 percent in October. Elko County’s growth comes amid a much tighter labor market, however, as the county’s unemployment rate measured 2.7 percent in October compared to the statewide rate of 4.1 percent. Elko County’s unemployment rate is a record-low for the county and marks just the second time that Elko has recorded sub-3 percent unemployment rates in consecutive months since measurement began in 1990.

The tight labor market in Nevada has contributed to rising wages throughout the state, including Elko County. During the second quarter of 2019, weekly wages in Elko County averaged $1,014, an increase of 4.6 percent from the same period in 2018. Both the wage level and annual growth exceeded statewide figures, with second-quarter wages averaging $961 per week after increasing 3.3 percent year-over-year. The increase in average wages, combined with greater overall employment, has led to consistent growth for the total wages earned in Elko County, which in the second quarter of 2019 measured $252.6 million, 6.4 percent more than the prior year. The trailing four-quarter total of Elko County wages shows even greater growth of 7.3 percent.

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