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New workers pouring into Reno-Sparks (Subscriber Content)

By John Seelmeyer
Published: Last Updated on
Inside the Tesla Gigafactory. Image: Bob Conrad.
Inside the Tesla Gigafactory. Image: Bob Conrad.

A red-hot economy continues to draw thousands of workers from across the country to the Reno-Sparks area. How many? Try 14,500 new workers joining the region’s cadre of emloyees in the past year alone, say researchers for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

That influx increased the size of the region’s labor force by 5.8 percent in the 12 months ended July 31. Washoe and Storey counties now are home to an estimated 266,900 workers.

And the newcomers are finding jobs. The state researchers say the number of people who are employed in the region increased even more rapidly than the labor force. Total employment at the end of July stood at 257,700 — an increase of 6 percent in the past 12 months.

Or to look at another way, the influx of newcomers isn’t providing much help to employers who have been struggling to find enough workers. Even with the addition of 14,500 workers to the labor force, the number of people looking for work — 9,200, the state estimates — didn’t increase at all in the past year.

The pace of job growth in the Reno-Sparks region is nearly twice as fast as the state average and about four times greater than the national figure.

Manufacturers— a category that includes the Tesla and Panasonic Gigafactory — are fueling the region’s economic fire. Manufacturers in the region added 3,100 jobs in the past year, a 13 percent growth rate.
Another large portion of the new employment is coming in the construction industry.

The state researchers estimate that the Reno-Sparks region has added 2,100 construction jobs in the past year.

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