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Reno starts 2020 with one top-performing economy

By John Seelmeyer
New Deantronics building rendering.

Image: New Deantronics building rendering.

The Reno-Sparks region has the strongest economy among medium-sized cities in the nation as 2020 dawns. Researchers for Area Development, a publication for economic-development professionals, found that the growth of manufacturing jobs in northern Nevada continues to provide a solid base for the region’s economic growth.

Their study found that about 65 percent of the region’s workforce currently is employed in the trade and services sectors, a far cry from the days that gaming and entertainment dominated the region’s economy.

While the Gigafactory operated by Tesla and Panasonic at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center created 12,000 manufacturing jobs in the past three years, Area Development said other manufacturers are playing key roles as well. New Deantronics, a medical device maker, is expected to open its $40 million, 200-job research and manufacturing facility in Spanish Springs this year.

Typically, the publication said, each new manufacturing job results in the creation of two to three jobs elsewhere in the local economy as manufacturing wages ripple outward.

Reno has been steadily gaining economic momentum. In 2018, Area Development ranked the region No 4 in the nation. As recently as 2014, northern Nevada ranked 218th in economic strength among the 399 metro regions in the nation.

The next step in the transition of the Reno-area economy is likely to be reflected in the number of companies that choose northern Nevada as their corporate headquarters.

Already, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada says corporate headquarters are becoming a more important part of the region’s economy. In 2019 alone, 14 companies decided to move their headquarters to the region.

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