While Nevada as a whole has seen employment growth of roughly 2 percent over the past year, Elko County has seen stagnation, growing only 0.3 percent over the same period. However, this seems to be the result of a shrinking workforce rather than lack of opportunity: Elko outperforms most of the state by far in unemployment rate, registering just 4.1 percent in September compared with the statewide figure of 5.8 percent.
Elko County mirrors the strong statewide trends in many other indicators, with strong year-over-year growth in total earned wages, taxable retail sales and gaming revenues. Total wages in Elko County increased 3 percent from 2015 to $206.6 million in the second quarter of 2016. Taxable retail sales were up 5 percent in August 2016 compared to August 2015, with a total of $129.7 million. Finally, gross gaming revenues were up 4.9 percent year-over-year in September, rising to $23.5 million. Elko County’s year-over-year wage growth comes despite a statewide decline in average weekly wages in the mining industry, an important segment of the Elko area economy.
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