Report shows Southern Nevada economy improving - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Report shows Southern Nevada economy improving

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The 2014 Las Vegas Perspective was revealed Wednesday, breaking down statistics in key economic indicators ranging from population to housing prices.

The research shows that the numbers are improving in almost area.

Southern Nevada's population is at its highest level, growing by nearly 100,000 people in the last two years.

That's in part due to more jobs becoming available, up more than three percent while unemployment dropped nearly two percent.

Stephen Brown, the director of the Center For Business and Economic Research at UNLV, says business are coming, building and buying up commercial real estate.

"Not only are we seeing a return to growth in construction, but we're seeing broad-based growth throughout all sectors of the economy," Brown said. "Most are going well and we're seeing diversified growth. We're seeing renewed interest in commercial real estate."

Single-family home prices also improved.

While total home sales were down nearly six percent, new home prices soared more than 36 percent and existing home prices following suit at an increase of 23 percent.

One area of concern for long-term business growth is education.

"We're the fifth-largest school district in the United States but have some of the lowest funding," said Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis. "That's created a lot of angst, to say nothing of the fact that a lot of our kids are coming out of our high school programs having a hard time transitioning to college or getting a job. So I think that's something there's a lot of focus on."

Unlike the quick boom in the early 2000's that led to a big bust, economists say it appears this time the stage is set for long-term stability.

"To use a nursery analogy, if you plant a tree that grows fast, typically it doesn't last very long," Brown said. "If you plant a tree that grows slowly, typically it lasts many, many years."

This is the 34th edition of the Las Vegas Perspective, which is put out annually by local research firm Applied Analysis.

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