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  • II. Strategic Elements

    The Unified or Combined State Plan must include a Strategic Planning Elements section that analyzes the State’s current economic environment and identifies the State’s overall vision for its workforce development system.  The required elements in this section allow the State to develop data-driven goals for preparing an educated and skilled workforce and to identify successful strategies for aligning workforce development programs to support economic growth.  Unless otherwise noted, all Strategic Planning Elements apply to Combined State Plan partner programs included in the plan as well as to core programs. 

II. a. 1. A. Economic Analysis

The Unified or Combined State Plan must include an analysis of the economic conditions and trends in the State, including sub-State regions and any specific economic areas identified by the State.  This must include—

  • i. Existing Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

    Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

  • ii. Emerging Demand Industry Sectors and Occupations

    Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which demand is emerging.

  • iii. Employers’ Employment Needs

    With regard to the industry sectors and occupations identified in (A)(i) and (ii), provide an assessment of the employment needs of employers, including a description of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, including credentials and licenses.

Current Narrative:

Nevada currently has two designated local workforce development areas (see Fig. 1): northern and southern Nevada. In compliance with WIOA, Nevada has developed state compliance policies that govern activities in the local workforce areas. The following counties and cities are designated as local workforce development areas:

NORTHERNCarson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, Washoe, and White Pine.

SOUTHERNClark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas.

Designated Local Workforce Development Areas

Economic and Workforce Analysis

Nevada has a long history of significant population growth.  For the five decades from the 1960s through the 2000s, Nevada was the fastest growing state in the nation, and for the 1980s through the 2000s Nevada was the only state to have a consistent population growth rate at 25 percent or higher. With Nevada’s economy being particularly hard-hit by the 2007 recession, population growth since 2010 currently lags a few other states, but at 12.4 percent through 2018 is still the sixth-highest in the nation, and is currently tied with Idaho for fastest population growth over the year.

Nevada’s population is highly concentrated in Clark County, with 73.6 percent of the population, or 2.25 million people living in this county.  The next-largest area is Washoe County, with 15.1 percent of the population or 460,000 people.  The remaining 11.3 percent of the population is distributed among the other 15 counties of the state. By age, Nevada’s population trends somewhat younger than the nation as a whole.  Nevada has slightly more people under 18 as a share of the total population than the nation (22.7 to 22.4 percent), and slightly fewer people 65 or older (15.7 to 16.0 percent). By race and ethnicity, Nevada’s share of the population which is Hispanic or Latino is the fifth-highest in the nation at 29.0 percent, trailing only New Mexico (49.1 percent), Texas (39.6 percent), California (39.3 percent), and Arizona (31.6 percent). The share of the population which is Asian alone is sixth-highest in the nation at 8.2 percent, trailing Hawaii (37.6 percent), California (14.7 percent), New Jersey (9.7 percent), Washington (8.7 percent), and New York (8.5 percent). The share of Nevada’s population which is Black or African American alone is somewhat less than the national average (9.2 percent to 12.7 percent), but is near the middle of the road compared to other states, and is the highest of any state west of the Mississippi save Texas.  The share of Nevada’s population which is White, but not Hispanic or Latino is the sixth-lowest in the nation at 48.4 percent.

Looking at the economic profile of the state, the effects of the 2007 recession on the housing market in Nevada continue to linger. In 2018, the share of Nevada’s population living in the same house as a year ago at the time of the survey was the third-lowest in the nation at 83.5 percent, ahead of Washington (82.5 percent) and Colorado (82.8 percent). Similarly, Nevada had the third-lowest rate of owner-occupied housing in the nation over the same period at 59.0 percent, trailing only New York (57.1) and California (56.2). This, despite monthly housing costs of owners with a mortgage from 2014 to 2018 being lower than the national average ($1,469 to $1,558) while the median gross rent was higher ($1,060 to $1,023).

Shifting to a population analysis of variables which might have a more direct impact on potential barriers to employment, Nevada’s rate of persons in poverty in 2018 runs slightly below the national average (9.1 to 9.3 percent), but is near the middle of the distribution of all states, ranked 23rd. Nevada has a relatively large share of the population  aged 5 or older that speaks a language other than English at home at 30.9 percent, trailing California (44.6 percent), Texas (35.8 percent), New Mexico (34.1 percent), and New Jersey (31.7 percent). Of Nevada’s total population, 12.5 percent have a disability, comparable to the national rate of 12.6 percent, and near the middle of the distribution among all states, ranked 32nd. Nevada also has the eighth-highest share of the population under the age of 65 without health insurance at 13.0 percent, noticeably above the national rate of 10.4 percent.  In 2018 dollars, Nevada’s median household income ($58,646) and per capita personal income ($31,604) each trail the national averages for the same measures ($61,937 and $33,831, respectively), but are near the middle of the distribution among all states.

Nevada has an above-average rate of households with a computer present, among the top 10 in the nation with a rate of 93.6 percent, and somewhat ahead of the national rate of 91.8 percent.  Nevada also is ahead of the national average in terms of households with a broadband internet subscription, 85.9 percent to 85.1 percent, but falls somewhat closer to the middle of the distribution when compared to other states.  This is in part a reflection of the population concentration within Clark and Washoe Counties, as more rural areas of the state have significantly more difficulty receiving reliable broadband internet service.  In education, the share of the population 25 years or older with a Bachelor’s degree in Nevada is among the lowest in the nation at 24.9 percent, noticeably below the national average of 32.6 percent and ahead of only West Virginia (21.3 percent), Mississippi (23.2 percent), Arkansas (23.3 percent), Louisiana (24.3 percent), and Kentucky (24.8 percent).  Nevada is similarly ranked in the share of the population 25 years or older with at least a high school degree 86.9 percent, which is below the national average of 88.3 percent and ahead of California (83.8 percent), Texas (84.0 percent), Mississippi (85.4 percent), New Mexico (85.4 percent), Louisiana (85.8 percent), Alabama (86.6 percent), and Kentucky (86.8 percent).

Shifting from overall population dynamics to the broad labor market within Nevada, the trend from 2014 through the middle of 2019 has been largely positive for Nevada.  Employment growth has broadly trended around 3 percent with some slowing toward the end of 2019, while the unemployment rate has steadily fallen to a rate equal to Nevada’s previous all-time low at 4.1 percent (October 2019).  As of the end of 2019, Nevada continues to experience job growth faster than the national average, and Nevada’s private sector has been one of the four fastest growing private sectors in the nation for much of the 2014-2019 period.   

Nevertheless, there are broad trends that will affect the labor market moving forward. Overall labor force participation is on a declining trend, falling from a rate near 68 percent prior to the 2007 recession to a rate of approximately 63 percent at present.  This decline is seen most dramatically in the population aged 16-19, where the rate has declined from 45 percent to 35 percent, but also shows up in the prime working age population of those 25 to 54, where the rate has only recently recovered from multi-decade lows of around 80 percent to a rate of approximately 82 percent, which trails a consistent rate of approximately 85 percent in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Further, despite overall low rates of unemployment, some demographic groups around the state are likely to experience higher rates of unemployment than their counties as a whole. The 2017 Nevada Legislature passed a bill requiring  a report on demographic groups with high rates of unemployment in each county and specified three measures to quantify this data set: (1) groups whose unemployment rate is double that of the county, (2) groups whose unemployment rate is four percentage points higher than that of the county, and (3) groups whose unemployment rate has been higher than that of the county for three consecutive years. The groups with the most frequent incidence of high unemployment among Nevada’s counties – those with high rates of unemployment in 10 or more counties according to the 2014-2018 rates from the American Community Survey – are: 1. workers under 24, workers who are American Indian or Alaskan Native, 2. workers whose family is below the poverty level, 3. workers with any disability, and 4. workers with a high school diploma/equivalency or less. The breakouts of each group with high unemployment in each county is included in section (B)(i) below. 

Nevada’s overall labor market is moving in a positive direction, running at roughly double the rate of employment growth seen in the nation as a whole for the past five years.  Unemployment is low, and use of unemployment benefits is near the lowest levels experienced in Nevada's unemployment insurance program's history relative to the size of the state. The 2007 recession has had a lasting impact on some aspects of Nevada’s economy – in particular, employment in the construction industry that has still only recovered approximately half of the jobs lost during the recession. However ongoing efforts to diversify and invest in Nevada’s labor market for the future have led to growth in new industries such as information technology and advanced manufacturing.  This growth will continue to require adapting Nevada’s workforce to the needs of emerging sectors, addressing the educational and training needs of workers and employers, building the infrastructure needed to support residential, commercial, and industrial needs and ensuring that the state’s economic expansion reaches all Nevadans.

Economic Analysis

ExistingDemand IndustrySectors and Occupations

Provide an analysis of the industries and occupations for which there is existing demand.

All of Nevada’s 11 super sectors are projected to continue to grow between 2020 and 2026:

  • Leisure and hospitality is expected to add 52,766 jobs combined through 2026.
  • Construction is expected to add 24,117 jobs through 2026.
  • Professional and business services are expected to add 42,422 jobs through 2026.
  • Trade, transportation and utilities are expected to add 44,040 jobs through 2026
  • Education and health services are expected to add 46, 599 jobs through 2026.
  • Manufacturing is expected to add 19,649 jobs through 2026 and to grow at the fastest overall rate at 4.5 percent per year.

Growth of Nevada’s super sectorsis reflected in its largest occupations:

  • Retail salespersons are the largest occupation, currently employing 49,458 people. This occupation ranked highest in projected nominal growth, adding 11, 174 to payrolls from 2016 to 2026.
  • Combined food preparation and serving workers are other occupations with projected significant growth of over 10,000 jobs through 2026, with a projected growth of 10,931.
  • Registered nurses are the fastest growing high-paying occupation with a projected growth of 5,652 through 2026.
  • General and operation managers are expected to add 4,398 jobs through 2026 due in most part to their frequent representation across multiple industries 
  • Other occupations adding significant numbers of jobs through 2026 include personal care aides (5,295), restaurant cooks (4,860), carpenters (3,250), heavy and tracker truck drivers (2,263), financial managers (2,018) and accountants and auditors (1,921).                                                                                                                                                               

Other notable occupations in terms of projected growth are:

  • Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers are projected to grow by 200 percent, or 1,658 jobs through 2026. 
  • Mechanical engineers, mechanical drafters, electrical engineers, industrial engineers, software developers, technical writers, and operations research analysts are all expected to see particularly rapid growth through 2026.

The above-referenced industry sectors and occupations are additional examples of in-demand occupational groups, but do not necessarily show up on the official list provided below for in-demand industries and occupations due to a difference in how official demand is defined in Nevada. The industries and occupations listed above may not meet the above-average wage requirement in place for Nevada's top in- demand occupations list, but continue to constitute an important part of Nevada’s economy.

The following are the most recent in-demand industries and occupations that were identified by the Department of Employment. Training and Rehabilitation's (DETR’s) Research and Analysis Bureau, the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), the state’s workforce board and associated Industry Sector Councils and the Governor's Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN).

In-Demand Industries

  • Information Technology
  • Health Care and Medical Services
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Education Services

In-Demand Occupations*

  •  Software Developers,
  • Applications Computer
  • Systems Analysts
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Technical and Scientific Products
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrators  
  • Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics 
  • Software Developers Systems Software
  •  Machinists

*Nevada's OECD and OWINN produces a list of the top 100 in-demand occupations; the above-referenced list is a snapshot portion of the total in-demand occupations list.

EmergingDemandIndustrySectors and Occupations

The in-demand occupations for Nevada were identified by DETR’s Research and Analysis Bureau, GOED, the state's workforce board and its associated industry sector councils and OWINN. OWINN produced the in-demand occupations report to provide strategic insights and direction to education and the publicly funded workforce system on in-demand industries and occupations.

The following emerging in-demand industries were identified through analysis conducted DETR and GOED and approved by the state's workforce board. 

  • Aerospace and Defense: Aviation maintenance technician and machinist training program.
  • Health Care and Medical Services: Registered nurses, home health aides, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, medical assistants, medical secretaries, licensed practical and vocational nurses.
  • Information Technology: Software developers, cyber security/IA professionals, network/systems administrators, healthcare IT technicians, and database administrators.
  • Manufacturing and Logistics:
    • Manufacturing: Machinists and metal workers, welders, cutters, solderers and brazers, team assemblers, first-line production supervisors, general and operations managers, helpers and production workers.
    • Logistics and Operations: Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, office clerks, customer service representatives, stock clerks, order filers, general and operations managers, bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks.
  • Mining and Materials: Equipment operators, diesel mechanics, underground miners, electrician/instrumentation technicians, process operators, fixed maintenance mechanics, and lab technicians.
  • Natural Resources
    • Agriculture: Farmworkers and laborers, crop nursery, plant science, greenhouse workers, food, and batchmakers.
    • Clean Energy: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) solar panel installers, certified energy managers, Building Performance Institute (BPI) energy auditors, BPI building envelope professionals, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification professionals, and Western Electricity Coordinating Council certifications.
    • WaterTechnologies:This is a new industry sector that is yet to be defined. As such, the state anticipates surveying business representatives to identify the top demand/emerging occupations within this occupation. Said findings will be updated in next year’s state plan.
  • Tourism, Gaming and Entertainment: First-line supervisors of food preparation, servers, audio and video equipment technicians, fitness trainers, chefs, meeting and convention planners, massage therapists, accountants and auditors.
  • Construction: Civil Engineers, first-line supervisors of Mechanics, installers, and repairers, general and operations managers, installers and repairers, general maintenance and repair workers, electricians, construction laborers, welders, masons, operators, carpenters.


When assessing the skills in the workforce, many Nevada employers indicated that the skills most deficient in the workforce are softskills. These skills include demonstrations such as employees showing up to work on time, working efficiently and getting along with coworkers. It was further noted that many individuals also lack basic office computer skills. Industries such as mining, leisure and hospitality, and agriculture indicated that soft skills are the only essential skills required. On the job training will provide the additional necessary skills. Specific to the health and education sectors, the need for additional teaching certificates and nursing degrees was noted. Currently, the top requested skills for Nevada’s in-demand occupations are: critical thinking, monitoring, judgment and decision making, speaking, active listening, coordination, reading comprehension, time management, complex problem solving, active learning, writing, social perceptiveness, service orientation, persuasion, and instruction. However, a recent report from the National Science Board (NSB-2015-10) argues that due to an increasingly technical and automated job market demands, the need for STEM skills have permeated all corners of the nation’s economy. Thus, the significance of STEM knowledge and skills on national economic competitiveness is critical to the development of Nevada’s future workforce (U.S. News & World Report, 2015). Additionally, humanities skills are increasingly important to Nevada’s workforce development. Proficiencies such as writing efficiencies, communication, listening skills (both active and passive), articulation, thinking, creativity, organization, project and time management, and networking/teambuilding skills are requisite for workforce development in Nevada. OWINN continues to work with business and industry, education, and labor representatives via the industry sector councils to identify skills that should be prioritized for workforce.