Las Vegas’ improved unemployment rate among major metropolitan areas is still the highest in the nation, according to a new report. This underscores the impact of the pandemic on the tourism-dependent economy.
An estimated 11.5 percent of the workforce in the Las Vegas area were unemployed in November. This is the highest figure among metropolitan areas with a population of 1 million or more, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday.
Among them, New Orleans had the second highest rate of unemployed at 9.8 percent, and Birmingham, Alabama, had the lowest rate at 3.8 percent, according to federal data.
The coronavirus pandemic has kept people away from home and from the crowds for fear of infection and has destroyed the tourism industry, the foundation of the casino-heavy economy in southern Nevada.
The unemployment rate in Las Vegas, which was just 3.9 percent in February, rose to 34 percent in April after Governor Steve Sisolak ordered casinos and other businesses to close in Nevada to curb the spread of the virus. Resorts and other businesses have since reopened and visitors are back, but tourism levels remain low and some casinos are still closed.
Approximately 17.8 million people visited Las Vegas in the past year through November, a 54.5 percent decrease from the same eleven-month period in 2019, and Clark County generated nearly $ 6 billion in gambling revenues, which is a decrease of 36.6 percent, reported the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
Contact Eli Segall at [email protected] or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.