Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak Flaunts Job Growth, Critics Counter

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Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak Flaunts Job Growth, Critics Counter

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) says the state’s November jobs report shows the economy is headed in the right direction.

Nevada unemployment casino jobs Steve Sisolak
Nevada unemployment casino jobs Steve Sisolak
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak poses for a photo earlier this month. Sisolak is hyping the return of jobs in the state, but some residents say his enthusiasm should be curtailed. (Image: Official State of Nevada Website)

Nevada added 2,600 jobs last month, as the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. But Nevada’s unemployment rate stands at 6.8 percent, which remains considerably higher than the 4.2 percent national average.

Nevada workers in the leisure and hospitality data segment, which includes casino employees, face much higher unemployment at 14 percent. Sisolak is nonetheless encouraged as 2021 comes to a close.

“As we near the end of the year, I am encouraged to see the ongoing growth in employment and declines in unemployment. Nevada has now recovered more jobs than at the same point in the Great Recession, another sign that Nevada’s economy is resilient and continues to come back,” Sisolak said in a release.

Critics Sound Back

2020 was a most difficult year in Nevada. Las Vegas’ economy relies heavily on tourism, and with casinos closed on Sisolak orders during much of the spring, tens of thousands of gaming and hospitality workers were laid off.

2021 has been better, as pent-up demand has fueled strong gaming revenues. November marked the eighth consecutive month that Nevada casinos won at least $1 billion from gamblers.

Las Vegas casinos continue to rehire, resorts responsible for 1,700 of the 2,600 added positions in November. But some people still remain out of work due to streamlined gaming operations.

Many online didn’t respond kindly to Sisolak highlighting the November jobs numbers.

People getting their jobs back isn’t adding jobs,” opined Twitter user Buddy in Vegas. “Wow, 2,600 jobs. The state’s just roaring back to life,” another Twitter user responded sarcastically.

As of November, California is the only state with a higher unemployment rate (6.9 percent) than Nevada. Nebraska has the lowest unemployment at just 1.8 percent.

Omicron Spread

The omicron COVID-19 variant is highly contagious but presents less-severe symptoms in fully vaccinated individuals. The escalating coronavirus case counts, however, remain a reason for concern.

Nevada is currently averaging more than 750 new COVID-19 cases a day. That’s up from just 150 daily new infections that were experienced in mid-June.

The US Centers for Disease Control reported today that nearly 59 percent of new COVID-19 cases are of the omicron variant. Despite the surge, Sisolak prior to Christmas told Nevadans to enjoy their holiday festivities.

“The last two years have been difficult, and now we are facing a new COVID-19 variant,” Sisolak said in a recorded message published on December 22.

“We are in a much different place this holiday season than where we were last holiday season and that’s because of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Sisolak continued. “Because of vaccines, I know many Nevadans are looking forward to safer holiday celebrations. The holiday season is a time of celebrating family and faith. It is also a time to give thanks for all the workers across the state who provide for us each and every day.”

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