The Death Of Las Vegas
There are quite a few U.S. cities that are complete and utter economic disaster zones in 2010 (Detroit for example), but there is something about the demise of Las Vegas that is absolutely stunning. In recent decades, Las Vegas has become a symbol for the over-the-top affluence and decadence of America. But now it is a microcosm of the economic nightmare that has gripped the entire nation. When the subprime mortgage crisis stuck, no major U.S. city was more devastated than Las Vegas. When the recession went from bad to worse, Americans decided that they really didn’t need to gamble so much and casino revenues plummeted. Suddenly unemployment started to increase dramatically in Vegas and even today it continues to soar. Like so many other cities that are highly dependent on tourism and entertainment, Las Vegas has gone from boom to bust. Local officials are hoping that the worst will soon be over, but the truth is that the worst is yet to come. As the U.S. economy continues to unravel, average Americans will be spending what little money they do have to put a roof over their heads and to feed their families. The truth is that the glory days of Las Vegas are over and they are not coming back.
Already, the number of unemployed in Las Vegas is reaching unprecedented levels. Unemployment rates for the state of Nevada and for the city of Las Vegas both set new records during the month of April. In Las Vegas the unemployment rate in April was 14.2%. For the entire state the unemployment rate was 13.7%.
Of course those are just the “official” numbers. We all know that the “real” unemployment numbers are much higher.
For example, the “official” unemployment figure is about 14 percent in the state of Michigan right now. But if you actually believe that 86 percent of able-bodied workers in the state of Michigan are employed, then perhaps you would be interested in an offer to purchase the Golden Gate Bridge as well.
Elliott Parker, an economist at the University of Nevada, Reno says that the record-setting unemployment numbers in Nevada are just part of a larger trend….
“Nevada has been losing jobs since March 2008, and we are continuing to do so.”
But where the state of Nevada and the city of Las Vegas have really been hammered is in the housing industry.
It is estimated that a whopping 65 percent of all homes in the state of Nevada are underwater.
Let that sink in for a bit.