LAS VEGAS — More people are living in southern Nevada than ever before. This post-recession population boom is stimulating the economy and adding jobs.
Construction was an industry hit the hardest during the recession, but it is coming back stronger than any other sector of the economy. More people living and working in southern Nevada means construction is growing again.
The population roller coaster is swinging up again. Countywide the population grew almost 3 percent from 2012 to 2013. More than two million people need places to work and places to live, which means jobs for construction companies.
“Since January, we have hired 40 to 45 people, and we still have some openings,” president and vice-president of procurement for Martin-Harris Guy Martin said.
Guy Martin’s firm is going along for the ride, especially in multi-family buildings like apartments and condominiums.
He says much of the construction going on isn’t from the ground up but in re-models, when properties are bought after bankruptcy, like The Gramercy on the 215 beltway and Russell Road.
“That project coming back on line is great for the entire industry. That will put a couple hundred construction workers back to work,” Martin said.
Applied Analysis will release its 34th annual Las Vegas Perspective Wednesday. It is a comprehensive look at the southern Nevada’s economy for 2013. The biggest highlight: the population boom’s effect on the economy.
“The fact that we have more people moving in, bringing income with them, and frankly bringing new energy and vitality into the community, is a very positive thing. And something we haven’t seen much of over the past five years,” Jeremy Aguero with Applied Analysis said.
The sector making the biggest comeback: construction.
“Construction was the hardest hit of every industry that we had in southern Nevada, and over the past 12 months it has added more jobs as a percentage of existing jobs, than any other sector of our economy, growing by more than 8.3 percent,” Aguero said.
Martin says his firm is taking a careful approach to new projects, hiring only who they need and often only for specific projects.
“Anybody who has lived through the downturn is very cautious,” Martin said.
Martin also says that after the recession many skilled workers left to find work. He says many people moving to southern Nevada now are actually returning because some of those jobs are back.
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