June 24, 2021 3 min read

Nevada Unemployment Drops as Casinos Recover, but Still at Unhealthy Level

Nevada is now open for business, with COVID-19 restrictions lifted and casino and hospitality businesses dusting off the furniture. Across the state, things are slowly returning to normal as everyone exits the pandemic chaos, but a number of Nevada’s casinos are still closed. Some are waiting for the right time to reopen; others will never return to the landscape. It’s partly for that reason that, although unemployment in the state is much better than it was a year ago, it still remains higher than it should.

Nevada Still In Scramble Mode

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) released an update on the state’s workforce situation this past Tuesday, reporting that Nevada added 10,200 new jobs last month. That’s a significant gain and came as the state lifted COVID-19 restrictions. Those 10,000 employees helped Nevada improve its unemployment rate to 7.8% from the 9% reported a month earlier, a step in the right direction toward the state’s normal unemployment of less than 4%. Logically, most of the jobs pertain to the leisure and hospitality industry, the machine that has kept Nevada going for decades.

May’s unemployment figure could probably be better; however, in addition to a number of businesses still being closed, some people simply don’t want to work. Previous reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that April’s unemployment level was higher than in March, despite the fact that casinos were then expanding their capacities. Still, looking back a year, the numbers are a significant improvement and emphasize how drastically Nevada was hurt from the pandemic. In April of last year, unemployment in the state was at 33% and, a month later, it had grown to 45.5%.

Breaking It Down By Region

Unemployment in Las Vegas remains above the norm and greater than what has been recorded in other areas. Despite now able to host major conferences and events, with one large trade show having been put on the calendar for earlier this month, Sin City registered an unemployment rate of 8.9% last month. This is almost double the 4.5% registered in Reno, which doesn’t have to rely solely on tourism in order to survive. As the summer rolls on and more people are willing to venture out, Las Vegas will continue to see an increase in traffic, which will chip away at the high unemployment rate.

The city is about to get some help, too, in attracting more gamblers and sightseers. Resorts World Las Vegas, Genting Group’s $5-billion resort, is set to open today, directly facing Wynn Resorts and raising the bar on what classifies as a luxury resort in Las Vegas. The property said to be responsible for over 6,000 new jobs added to the city, will offer fresh amenities that are certain to pique everyone’s curiosity. It is also ready to introduce a cashless payment option across its services and previously reported that it would also accept cryptocurrency.


Erik brings his unique writing talents and storytelling flare to cover a wide range of gambling topics. He has written for a number of industry-related publications over the years, providing insight into the constantly evolving world of gaming. A huge sports fan, he especially enjoys football and anything related to sports gambling. Erik is particularly interested in seeing how sports gambling and online gaming are transforming the larger gaming ecosystem.

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