As it did through much of 2020, the Elko County economy has fared better during the pandemic than many other parts of the state moving into early 2021. The county added 1,700 jobs in January 2021, an increase of 6.8 percent over the month. The January 2021 employment total of 26,647 jobs also exceeded the total of 26,641 in January 2020 as the county has recovered all of the jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county’s unemployment rate ticked up from 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent in January 2021, though it remained among the lowest in Nevada and well below the statewide rate of 8.4 percent.

Taxable retail sales in Elko County continued their run of strong performance to close out 2020. Total sales reached $142.4 million in December 2020, up 8.4 percent from the prior month and nearly level with December 2019 figures. For the year, Elko County recorded $1.7 billion in taxable retail sales, 5.0 percent higher than 2019. Gaming revenues in Elko County started the year well, surging 36.1 percent over the month to a single-month record of $31.8 million in January 2021. Gaming revenues on a trailing 12-month basis continued to reflect the casino closures and capacity restrictions in 2020, with a total of $247.2 million in January 2021 that fell 21.4 percent below the prior year level.

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