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Mountain Monitor: Housing, Jobs Key Las Vegas' Struggle to Rebound from Recession

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Research  |  Mar 28, 2012  |  By UNLV Media Relations
Media Contact: UNLV Media Relations: (702) 895-3102

Recovery was firmly underway in the Intermountain West by the fourth quarter of 2011 but its pace varied considerably across the region's 10 major metropolitan areas. Las Vegas continues its struggle to rebound from the recession, ranking near the bottom of the region in housing and employment numbers.

The Mountain Monitor, a quarterly report produced by Brookings Mountain West, tracks economic recession and recovery for the Intermountain West by comparing key economic indicators. Not surprisingly, those areas that enjoyed the greatest pre-recession growth - areas like Las Vegas - continue to be the hardest hit by the recession.

Among the report's most significant findings:

  • Las Vegas has experienced job growth for each of the past four quarters and its 2.5 unemployment decrease since last year is the largest in the region
  • Despite improvements, Las Vegas' 12.7 percent unemployment rate is still fifth highest among the nation's top 100 metros
  • Housing prices in Las Vegas remain a staggering 64.8 percent lower than the 2006 peak, with virtually no change from the previous quarter
  • Output in Las Vegas grew by a near national average 0.6 percent since last quarter and 2.3 percent since 2010, but remained among the weakest nationally since the recession

Six metros saw job growth in the fourth quarter but only four saw it accelerate over the previous one. Output grew everywhere, including Las Vegas, but only in half of the region's metros did the pace of growth quicken. The unemployment rate was down across the board from one year earlier.

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