BY JOHN SEELMEYER | This is Reno
The days when casinos and warehouses dominated the Reno-area economy are disappearing.
Instead, manufacturing is by far the fastest-growing segment of the region’s economy these days.
The most recent numbers from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation showed that 25,300 residents of Washoe and Storey counties were working in manufacturing jobs during January.
That’s an increase of about 5,300 manufacturing jobs in just one year, and it means that manufacturing accounts for roughly 10 percent of all the employment in the region.
Casinos, by contrast, accounted for about 13,600 jobs in January, a figure that was essentially unchanged from a year ago. About 5 percent of the region’s workforce is employed at hotel-casinos.
Warehousing and trucking, the other cornerstone of the region’s economy in years past, now accounts for just a little less than 20,000 jobs. State labor analysts said the logistics sector grew by about 400 jobs in the past year and now accounts for 8 percent of all employment in the region.
Ten years ago, manufacturing accounted for about 6 percent of the jobs in the region. Logistics outfits in 2009 had 13,000 workers, or 6 percent of the workforce. Casino-hotels back then had 16,400 workers — nearly 3,000 more than today.
The growth isn’t all coming from Tesla’s gigafactory.
Manufacturers accounted for a third of the 29 companies that moved to the area last year and got help from the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
Matt Harris, a senior associate at the commercial real estate firm Avison Young in Reno, says northern Nevada’s location near major West Coast market spurs growth of manufacturing.
“The city’s availability of prime affordable industrial space, low electric costs, and business-friendly regulations make it a smart choice for both relocation and start-ups,” Harris said in a recent analysis.
John Seelmeyer is a business writer and editor in Reno. In his 40-year career, he has edited publications in Nevada, Colorado and California and written several thousand published articles about business and finance.