Economic experts discuss prospects for Nevada’s economy through 2023

There are predictions of a looming national recession, yet Andrew Woods of UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research predicts that Clark County’s population is expected to grow by 52,000 people this year.

Woods told KNPR State of Nevada host Joe Schoenmann today that 2022 is a story about American consumer resilience and 2023 is about the resilience of America’s economy.

“We have higher wages, higher business rates, we have chilling demand. We have gluten in abundance. Before we had supply chain snarls,” Woods said. “I think it will be about how the economy reacts to this new economy? We are not currently forecasting a recession, but we are forecasting a slowdown in demand and the economy over the next two years.”

Woods noted that the US economy will continue to grow during this period, which posted 2.1 percent growth in 2022 from 2021 levels. He forecasts economic growth of 1 percent for this year.

In October, state employment grew by 7,500 jobs, Woods added, noting that “we have more jobs today than we did in 2019.”

However, external factors such as another variant of COVID or a global political crisis could push the US into recession through a significant increase in unemployment, he said, noting that we have just 39 more employees in the workforce in southern Nevada today than we had previously in the Year 2019, making it harder for employers to find workers.

“We don’t see prime-aged workers moving into (the workforce) to fill positions in the leisure and hospitality industries,” noted Woods, adding that companies will likely be scrambling for workers in the years to come, much of it of which the result of the ongoing retirement of baby boomers, which will continue into 2030.

Overall, Woods gives Southern Nevada’s economy a B-plus, saying that “we weathered the recent economic downturn.” He sees Southern Nevada benefiting from notable professional sporting events here, including the Super Bowl and Formula 1 racing, although significant problems remain with the availability of water, arable land, and skilled labor, which will remain scarce.

“The pandemic has changed the dynamics of the labor market quite a bit,” added RCG Economics’ Jon Restrepo. “I think the bigger problem than a shortage of workers is bound to be workers who don’t want to do certain jobs. There’s a shortage of truck drivers and people like that just because there’s a preference these days, especially across generations, not to do certain types of work, be it construction work…or some of those other jobs. Therefore, the topic of starting and choosing a career is unpopular with a large part of the workforce, especially among the under-30s.”

According to Restrepo, the economy will likely be a bit tougher in 2024, earning a B grade “based on what we see and hear”.

Peter Guzman of the Latin Chamber of Commerce says the economic reality for the region’s Hispanic community is somewhat different.

“We didn’t see them struggle this much during COVID until they were asked to close their business,” Guzman said. “That was when they fought. Before, after… the Hispanic entrepreneur is a little different. They have family members who work, and when they need more family members, there are usually two or three generations living in one household. When they need employees, family members usually come and work with them. This allows them to access more workers faster than non-Hispanic companies. It just is. So we’re seeing Hispanic businesses thriving.”

Construction companies and restaurants make up a significant portion of the members of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Paul Anderson, Boyd Gaming’s executive vice president of government and industry affairs, noted, “The tricky part about southern Nevada is you have such a massive hospitality industry that needs to be diversified, it takes a big step to get around that needle.” even move a little bit.”

In comparison, if you look at the Reno environment, Apple, Tesla, and Amazon were able to enter this market and significantly transform this economy, which Anderson says is now a thriving technology-based economy.

“It’s gotten a lot more resilient than it’s ever been,” said Anderson, former head of the Nevada governor’s office of economic development. “Even if you just look at the hospitality industry in southern Nevada, it has diversified in and of itself. That’s sort of the sports and entertainment part of the puzzle where we now have sports. We have F1 (Las Vegas Grand Prix) ahead of us…which I think will be a game changer for us.”


  • Peter Guzman, Latin Chamber of Commerce
  • John Restrepo, RCG Economics, Principal
  • Paul Anderson, served as Executive Director to Governor Sandoval of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  • Andrew Woods, UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research