This story originally appeared on Fox5 Vegas.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — Business leaders at Preview Las Vegas said gambling revenue booms and construction projects are paving the way forward for Nevada’s economic outlook, but labor shortages continue to be a hurdle for businesses to recover.
Preview Las Vegas, organized by the Las Vegas Chamber at Allegiant Stadium, offers projections for jobs, tourism, construction and business trends for 2022.
“We are doing better but we have a lot further to go,” said Governor Steve Sisolak to reporters after his speech, which promised no raises in the unemployment tax for businesses.
“Right now, the biggest problem they are facing is the labor shortage, quite frankly. They can’t hire enough people,” Sisolak said.
“Labor shortages have been one of the a significant impacts. it has absolutely crippled them,” said Mary Beth Sewald of the Vegas Chamber. A lot of workers today, it’s a whole different mindset. People want quality of life. They want flexibility in their schedules,” she said.
The Vegas Chamber said resources are available to businesses to help workers train, and obtain workers for those open positions.
According to Applied Analysis, 43,000 jobs remain open in Nevada. There are more than 3,200 jobs open in casinos and resorts.
“We have fewer people looking for jobs. It’s created a difficult dynamic for folks looking to hire,” said Brian Gordon of Applied Analysis.
His firm’s research shows that thousands of workers have retired during the pandemic, and others face challenges with childcare or returning to their previous career.
More than 63,000 hospitality and leisure jobs in Southern Nevada have yet to return.
Gordon said that competitive wages are key to attracting workers, especially in sectors such as hospitality and retail. Diversification of the economy will prove crucial to providing more jobs and stability, he said.
Sisolak promises 11,000 more jobs are coming to Nevada, many in the field of manufacturing.
Some bright spots of the Nevada economic recovery? The valley has added 23,000 jobs in trade, utilities and transportation, all industries the state is poised to grow.
Gaming revenue continues to break records, according to Applied Analysis.
Construction projects continue to boom, signaling more investments and more jobs. $9.9 billion in construction projects are already underway across Las Vegas, including the Fontainebleau, the MSG Sphere, the Dollar Loan Center and the UNLV School of Medicine.
There is $11.9 billion pledged towards upcoming valley and tourism construction projects, Applied Analysis said.