The Stat Pack
The RCG Employment Index 12-month moving average (“12MMA”) for Reno-Sparks remained 96.8 in November, a 1.2-point rise from 95.6, recorded in November 2014. November’s index continues the upward trajectory started in 2011, and we expect this trend to continue. The peak of 99.8 occurred in December 2008 and the trough of 89.6 occurred in January 2010.
Reno-Sparks job growth on a 12-Month Moving Average (“12MMA”) basis increased to 2.9% in November. This is the first increase since October 2014. However, the growth rate was down from 3.3% recorded in November 2014. The rate’s lowest level in the last 10 years occurred in November 2009 (-9.3%).
The 12MMA of the headline unemployment rate dropped to 6.4% in November compared to 7.6% in November 2014. The unemployment rate has been steadily improving for 4 years.
Total construction jobs in the Reno-Sparks MSA increased to 11,350 in November on a 12MMA basis, but they were unchanged from the 11,350 jobs recorded in November 2014. In November, construction jobs represented 5.6% of the job-base. Construction jobs in the MSA peaked at 24,042 in August 2006 on a 12MMA basis, when the industry accounted for 11.1% of all jobs.
November’s 12MMA visitor total for Reno-Sparks increased by 2.1% Y-O-Y to 392,906. Visitation to the region has not seen the turnaround that Las Vegas has experienced, but has picked up slightly over the last few months. The 12MMA peak occurred in May 2004, when 467,904 visitors came to the region. The highest annual grow rate occurred in January 2013, when visitor volume grew 5.8%. The Reno-Sparks hospitality industry continues to face challenges.
Washoe County 12MMA Y-O-Y gross gaming revenue growth in November (4.3%) represents the 11th consecutive month of improvement and the largest percent increase since July 2006, with total revenue reaching $64.7 million. Compared to October, there was a 0.25% increase.
Gaming revenues peaked in June 2006 at $89.4 million. On an annual growth rate basis, growth peaked at 5.5% in June 2006.
Like Clark County, retail sales in Washoe County have been steadily climbing, reaching $586.4 million in October, up 8.2% on a 12MMA basis compared to October 2014. Taxable sales are steadily moving back to their peak on a nominal basis (not inflation-adjusted). This makes 55 consecutive months (4.5 years) with rising retail sales on a Y-O-Y basis. As the chart shows, Washoe’s taxable sales growth is significantly beating the state average on a percent growth basis.
MLS home resales in the Reno-Sparks area declined to 523 units in November on a 12MMA basis. This metric has risen in 12 of the last 14 months and home sales are in record-high territory. The median price rose to $277,873 (12MMA) in November. That was a 14.9% jump compared to November 2014. By comparison, the Las Vegas median resale price in November increased by 9.5% to $187,741. The issue of housing affordability is a looming one that the market and policy makers will have to start addressing.
The 12MMA of the average weekly wage (not adjusted for inflation) in the Reno-Sparks MSA reached $808 in November, rising by 11.8% from $722 in November 2014. Additionally, the inflation-adjusted 12MMA wage of $716 recorded in November represented an increase of 11.7% over the $641 recorded in November 2014. In November, the Reno-Sparks average weekly real earnings were 11% higher than the Las Vegas average of $643. Inflation-adjusted wages are now at their highest levels ever recorded in the Reno-Sparks MSA.
Average weekly hours worked in the Reno-Sparks labor market are bucking the state and national trends and have sharply turned up over the last year. This is the result of the “Tesla effect” and the region’s ongoing and focused economic development efforts. Weekly hours reached 34.6 in November, up 1.9 hours compared to 32.7 hours in November 2014. The 7-year peak occurred in October 2008 at 37.1 hours, while the trough (7-year) of 32.5 hours occurred in September 2014.
According to AAA, on January 6, 2015, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline in Reno-Sparks had increased by 1.1% from $2.57 a year prior to $2.60. The price was also up $0.04 (1.6%) compared to December 6. We expect Y-O-Y gas prices to remain fairly stable over the course of 2016.
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This document was created for informational purposes only; the opinions expressed are solely those of the team and do not represent those of Hightower Advisors, LLC, or any of its affiliates.