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How Gaming Benefits Nevada


In 2016, the tourism industry was directly responsible for the employment of 301,700 Nevada workers. The sheer number of industry employees relative to the state’s other employment sectors means that any changes to the industry will likely have a significant effect on the state’s economy. Tourism industry impacts in this analysis consider those sourced not only to the hotel-casino industry, but broader leisure and hospitality positions supported by visitor spending in other sectors of the economy such as retail, transportation and sightseeing.

In order to understand the full effects of the tourism industry, the indirect and induced effects must be taken into account. Indirect impacts are often referred to as the “ripple” effect. They are defined as those impacts sourced to purchases made by industry suppliers of goods and services. In 2016, employment resulting from indirect impacts was about 68,900.

Finally, it is important to take into consideration the induced impacts of the tourism industry. These are defined as the impacts resulting from tourism employee spending. For example, a casino employee may take his or her pay and spend it at the local grocery store, at a doctor’s appointment or at the local movie theater, in turn contributing to the employment of additional workers in the economy. Induced impacts resulted in the creation of 97,400 jobs in 2016.

In total, direct, indirect and induced impacts led to a total industry employment impact of 468,000 jobs in 2016.

Nevada’s leisure and hospitality industry has been an important part of the state’s economic recovery, adding 10,600 jobs over the past year and accounting for approximately 26% of all jobs statewide – more than any other industry. The leisure and hospitality sector excludes other tourism-related activity sourced to visitor spending in other sectors of the economy.The sector reported the highest net growth in jobs year-over-year as well as the third highest percentage growth (+3.2 percent) behind other services (+6.5 percent) and construction (+13.4 percent). By December 2016, leisure and hospitality employment exceeded 2007 levels, yet casino hotels employment (a subsector of leisure and hospitality) remained 10 percent below peak 2007 levels at the close of 2016. Growth in the overall leisure and hospitality sector contributed to the state’s lowest unemployment rate in nearly a decade.

Nevada’s leisure & hospitality industry presently accounts for 26.3 percent of total employment, which is 2.5 times larger than the United States. Since 2007, leisure and hospitality grew by roughly 5,200 jobs (+1.5 percent), while the construction sector lost more than 45,000 jobs during the same timeframe. Other sectors posting positive gains during the same period included education and health services; trade, transportation and utilities; and professional and business services.

While Nevada’s economy is becoming more diverse, leisure and hospitality remains a core component of total employment. It is also a testament to the industry’s ability to adapt to a changing economy.

20 Largest Employers in Nevada

Rank Company Size Class Ownership County
1 Clark County School District 30,000 - 39,999 Local Government Clark
2 Washoe County School District 8,500 - 8,999 Local Government Washoe
3 Clark County 8,500 - 8,999 Local Government Clark
4 Wynn Las Vegas 8,000 - 8,499 Private Clark
5 Bellagio LLC 7,500 - 7,999 Private Clark
6 MGM Grand Hotel/Casino 7,500 - 7,999 Private Clark
7 Aria Resort & Casino LLC 7,000 - 7,499 Private Clark
8 Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino 7,000 - 7,499 Private Clark
9 The Venetian/Palazzo Casino Resort 6,000 - 6,499 Private Clark
10 University of Nevada Las Vegas 5,500 - 5,999 State Government Clark
11 Caesars Palace 5,000 - 5,499 Private Clark
12 Las Vegas Metropolitan Police 5,000 - 5,499 Local Government Clark
13 University of Nevada Reno 4,500 - 4,999 State Government Washoe
14 The Mirage Casino Hotel LLC 4,500 - 4,999 Private Clark
15 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 4,000 - 4,499 Private Clark
16 University Medical Center of Southern NV 3,500 - 3,999 Local Government Clark
17 Southwest Airlines Co 3,000 - 3,499 Private Clark
18 Encore Las Vegas 3,000 - 3,499 Private Clark
19 City of Las Vegas 3,000 - 3,499 Local Government Clark
20 Renown Regional Medical Center 3,000 - 3,499 Private Washoe

Source: Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation and Applied Analysis.

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