The RCG Jobs Index 12-month moving average (“12MMA”) for Reno-Sparks increased to 96.2 in April. This is a 1.96% rise from 94.5 recorded in April 2014. April’s index was the same as March’s and has been generally improving for the last 4 years.
The job growth 12MMA in Reno-Sparks held at 3.1% in April from March. This is a very healthy rate of growth. The 12MMA for the unemployment rate decreased to 7.1% compared to 8.7% in April of 2014. The unemployment rate has been steadily improving for nearly 4 years, while jobs have been growing nearly 3 years.
Total construction jobs in the Reno-Sparks MSA declined to 11,375 in April from 11,392 in March on a 12MMA basis, but they were up by 7.6% from the 10,575 jobs recorded in April 2014. (Context: Construction jobs in the MSA peaked at 24,042 in August 2006 on a MMA basis.)
April’s 12MMA visitor total increased by 1.3% Y-O-Y to 390,592. However, this visitor count was slightly lower than March’s 12MMA of 391,478. Visitation to Reno-Sparks has not seen the turnaround that visitation to Las Vegas has experienced. The 12MMA peak occurred in May 2004, when 467,904 visitors came to the region. Takeaway: The Reno-Sparks hospitality industry continues to face challenges.
Washoe County 12MMA Y-O-Y gross gaming revenue growth in April (2.2%) represents the fourth consecutive month of improvement and the largest in 14 months, with total revenues reaching $63,444,565. Washoe County’s Y-O-Y gaming revenue growth in April beat Clark County’s 8%.
Much like in Clark County, retail sales in Washoe County have been climbing steadily to $560.2 million, up 7.7% on a 12MMA basis when comparing March 2015 to March 2014. This makes 48 months in a row of rising retail sales on a Y-O-Y basis. As the chart shows, Washoe’s taxable sales growth is beating the state average on a percentage basis.
MLS home sales in the Reno-Sparks area, which are mostly comprised of resales, increased to 502 units in April on a 12MMA. The 6-year peak occurred in May 2012 at 507 units. The median price also rose to $257,071 (12MMA). That is a 14.7% jump compared to April 2014. April’s median price is the highest in nearly 7 years. Reno-Sparks’ April median price of MLS sales in the region was 46% higher than the Las Vegas resale average of $176,033.
The Housing Opportunity Index for the Reno-Sparks MSA plummeted during Q1, 2015 to 55.8 from 68.4 in Q1, 2014 on a moving quarter basis. The U.S. Index also dropped but only from 66 to 63.4 during the same period. Reno-Sparks’ HOI peaked at 85.8 in Q1, 2012. It bottomed out at 17.3 in Q4, 2006 at the peak of the housing crash. The 44-quarter average is 55.5.
The 12MMA average weekly wage (not adjusted for inflation) in the Reno-Sparks MSA reached $755 in April, rising by 9% from $692 in March 2014. Additionally, the inflation-adjusted 12MMA wage of $670 recorded in April represented an increase of nearly 8% over the $621 recorded in March 2014. In April, the Reno-Sparks average weekly real earnings were 7% higher than the Las Vegas average of $626.
Average weekly hours worked in the Reno-Sparks labor market are bucking the state and national trends and have sharply turned up in the last 7 months. Weekly hours reached 33.4 in April, up 0.8 hours compared to the 32.5-hour trough (7 year) of August and September 2014 and by 0.3 hours compared to April 2014 on a 12MMA basis.
According to AAA, as of June 9, the average price per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline in Reno-Sparks plummeted by 20% from $4.00 a year ago to $3.32. It also went down slightly when compared May 9. We expect gases price to stay relatively stable for the summer barring any sudden and/or unforeseen world events.