Opportunity Scorecard: Nevada
Building off our Opportunity Index model, we looked at cost of living and wages paid across every region in the state to see how much opportunity there was for workers. Jobs fall into four categories: hardship jobs, living-wage jobs, middle-class jobs, and professional jobs.1 We found that, like the broader United States, there is a dearth of middle class jobs in Nevada.
Statewide, only 36% of jobs support a middle class life or better and on average, individuals need $43,316 to get to a middle class life. And while the Las Vegas metropolitan area added over 5,000 businesses between 2005 and 2015, the other two metro areas lost hundreds of businesses. The map above shows the makeup of jobs in every region of the state. For example, Las Vegas, despite adding thousands of businesses, only had 35% of jobs that were considered middle class or better. All other areas, except North nonmetropolitan Nevada, were in the same range. No region of Nevada though has more than 50% of jobs considered middle class or better.
For more information on Third Way’s Opportunity Index and job categories, please visit: https://www.thirdway.org/report/the-opportunity-index-ranking-opportunity-in-metropolitan-america. Hardship job: cannot support a single childless adult living by himself.
Living wage job: supports a single childless adult living in a two bedroom unit with another adult. This salary would cover health insurance, food, and basic necessities but no money for entertainment, vacation, savings, or retirement.
Middle class job: pays enough to support half the expenses for a family of four living a middle class life. This includes a three bedroom unit, food, health insurance, basic necessities and money for entertainment, vacation, savings, retirement, and childcare.
Professional class job: pays enough to support 75% of the expenses for a family living a comfortable middle class life. This includes a four bedroom unit and more money for food, entertainment, vacation, savings, and retirement.