The “second” estimate of U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2021 grew 2.1 percent at an annual rate, which was revised up by 0.1 percent from the previous estimate. The upward revision primarily reflected largerthan-expected consumer spending and private inventory investment. Overall, the disappointing growth in the third quarter largely reflected a deceleration in consumer spending. U.S. nonfarm employment only added 210,000 jobs in November, its lowest gain since a loss in December 2020 and much lower than the consensus forecast of 550,000. The November labor participation rate, however, increased by 0.2 percent to 61.8 percent, the highest level since the start of the pandemic, as well as upward revisions in the nonfarm payrolls for October (+15,000) and September (+67,000), signaling that workers are returning to the labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate in November dropped by 0.4 percent to 4.2 percent. Retail sales in October experienced its strongest month-over-month gain of 1.7 percent since March 2021, partly benefitting from early holiday shopping.
Nevada’s economic activity posted highly positive signals based on the most recent data as the delta variant waned. Seasonally adjusted statewide employment added 10,900 jobs in October, the largest monthly increase in five months. October gaming revenue experienced a strong rebound of 5.5 percent month-over-month after two consecutive months of decline. It, nonetheless, topped $1 billion for the eighth straight month, a record. September taxable sales also climbed strongly by 8.3 percent from last month.
Clark County also displayed favorable signs in its local economic activity. Seasonally adjusted employment gained 8,400 jobs in October. October gaming revenue increased strongly by 5.1 percent month-over-month, benefitting from a 15.1 percent gain in visitor volume from September. October total McCarran Airport passengers also surged by 10.7 percent month-over-month. September taxable sales rose strongly by 8.9 percent month-over-month, while gasoline sales in gallon plummeted by 5.7 percent over the same period. October residential permits gained 27.9 percent year-over-year.
Washoe County exhibited mixed signals in its local economic activity. The Reno-Sparks seasonally adjusted employment added 1,300 jobs in October. September taxable sales soared by 9.9 percent month-over-month. October air passengers experienced a strong recovery, up by 15.7 percent month-over-month. October gaming revenue and visitor volume, however, contracted by 2.4 and 7.7 percent, respectively, from last month. October residential permits remained almost flat, up by 0.2 percent from last year.
Stephen M. Miller, Director
Jinju Lee, Economic Analyst
UNLV Center for Business and Economic Research
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas or the Nevada System of Higher Education.