Las Vegas is growing again. You can see it in office buildings, retail centers, restaurants and on the roadways. If one simply drives around the City, it is quite obvious. Tilt-up walls are rising in the Southwest and North Las Vegas. Downtown Summerlin has dozers and graders preparing the land for development. Resorts World Las Vegas has cranes in the air. The Project Neon I-15 and U.S. 95 upgrades move forward, preparing for future traffic.
While area development, retail foot traffic and vehicle activity clearly paint a picture of growth through visual observation, there are some quantifiable elements. 2017 population has reached an estimated 2.25 million persons, a roughly two percent increase over 2016. Surrendered drivers licenses, a measure of how many driving age individuals moved to the region, grew by 2.6%. Employment is now just shy of one million and the headline unemployment rate is now 4.9%, a significant decline from the recession peak of 14.1%.
Forbes recently published its America’s Fastest-Growing Cities 2018 report and ranked the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 6th, just ahead of the Nashville MSA and one position behind the Fort Worth Metropolitan Division. The Boise, ID MSA took the top position. Impressively, Las Vegas moved up ten spots from the respectable 16th place last year.
Although job growth, relative housing affordability and tax consequences are all important reasons for families moving to the Las Vegas area, lifestyle is a top consideration. Sunny days, outdoor recreational options like biking, rock climbing, boating and even skiing are all attractive pastimes that are achievable within 45 minutes or less of the West valley. Nightlife, restaurants and live performances are also a major draw. Las Vegas is now a professional sports town too. To summarize, the Las Vegas Valley offers a nice balance of affordability and amenities, for which it has few peers.