Nevada gets poor grade in study on economic development

CARSON CITY - A national study grading states on economic development efforts slams Nevada for a lack of economic diversity, weak finances and social problems such as a high number of uninsured children.

The annual study by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for Enterprise Development gives Nevada D's in business vitality and development capacity. Nevada's performance grade was a C. That's the same as last year's grades from the group.

But the study said Nevada's employment growth rates remain strong, and the state hung onto its No. 1 rankings in net migration and tourism spending.

Nevada had scored high on performance for several years, but that grade dropped after the CED started considering numerous social factors in grading the states.

In looking at Nevada, the group said the state has high numbers of low-income children without health insurance, high rates of teen pregnancy and low home-ownership rates.

The study also raised issues that have long been concerns of Nevada officials - especially factors included in ''business vitality.''

Nevada's D score was largely attributable to its lack of economic diversity. But state officials say diversity is not an easy task since one new hotel-casino can hire as many people as most of the nongambling companies attracted to Nevada by the state Economic Commission in a year.

Nevada's low grade in development capacity was kept down by weak financial resources, such as fewer commercial and industrial loans. Also cited were low numbers of scientists and engineers and little university-level research.


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