Data says area outlook optimistic

In 2002, the Nevadaworks Board began a project with the goal of creating an on-going system that collects, analyzes and reports detailed, local labor market information on selected occupations throughout Reno-Sparks and Carson City.

The project evolved into the Occupational Outlook Report.

The report included data collected after surveying 20 occupations ranging from bookkeepers, accounting and auditing clerks to plumbers, pipefitters and bank tellers.

Two years later, Nevadaworks has created three occupational Outlook Reports containing current data for a total of 60 specific occupations from the perspective of 900 employers with a workforce exceeding 18,500.

The reports provide employers and job seekers with the most current and comprehensive information from employment trends and employer requirements to salaries, benefits, skills and job opportunities.

Only organizations with management oversight in this region were surveyed and therefore the results are specific to Reno-Sparks and Carson City.

The design of Nevadaworks' Occupational Outlook Report is reflectant of a reference handbook.

Users of the reports have provided feedback verifying that the information is easy to use, clear and succinct and have quickly become dog-eared due to high usage.

What is reflected in this report? A general optimism that spans all occupations.

Approximately 30 percent of the employers surveyed hired additional employees during the previous 12 months as a result of growth in business and 90 percent reported sales for the next two years are projected to increase or remain stable! In addition to employer optimism, the report reflects some positive trends for employees.

On average, 70 percent of the occupations surveyed adhere to the traditional eight-hours a day, 40- hours a week work schedule.

Employers report that 80 percent of individuals with three or more years experience with their firm earn $25,000 or more per year and more companies are offering employer paid health care.

These developments translate into an overall trend, the better educated the individual, the better the pay and benefits.

The report also reflects the fact that many entry-level jobs have no income advancement potential for individuals who do not continually upgrade their skills.

For example, the many varied occupations in the health care field appear to offer great growth potential for individuals seeking new or expanding careers.

Who uses this report? Economic development agencies to help determine the potential of future area business growth and development; educators and trainers to adjust programs and curriculum; job skill trainers to demonstrate to students and employers that their programs are working to meet the needs of the industry; human resources departments for businesses and organizations to compare salaries, benefits, recruiting methods and availability of qualified workers; local middle and high school career counselors and technical instructors; students trying to decide on a career field; parents wanting the latest career data to help guide their children; individuals seeking career changes and businesses wanting to keep abreast of their competition.

In particular, economic development authorities use this information when working with site selectors or companies seeking additional information about Reno-Sparks and Carson City.

Many communities do not offer such current, easy-to-use workforce data and having this information available is another plus for our region.

Additionally, Nevada JobConnect, a system providing employers and jobseekers workforce assistance, has found the Occupational Outlook Report a beneficial resource.

With the Report available at all Nevada JobConnect centers, individuals and their case managers can better understand the needs of local employers and employers have the assurance that everyone using this report is working from the latest, most current information on the specific occupations.

So what is next? If you work for an organization that has never used the Occupational Outlook Report then it is time to take advantage of this great resource.

If you have had a copy of the past reports, then it is time to get the latest, most current report.

And if you are an avid user of the report, then your wait for the next 20 occupations is over! On June 15, Nevadaworks will provide copies of the Occupational Outlook Report to those who request them by calling Nevadaworks at 337-8600.

The report will also be available on line at as a PDF document.

After you have reviewed your copy, please let me know if there are any other occupations you feel should be in the next Nevadaworks survey.

Nevadaworks is pleased to present this three-year effort to the community.

We thank all who participated and hope that you continue to find many uses for this report.

Nevadaworks looks ahead What: Nevadaworks 2004 Occupational Outlook Report Where: Online at or by phone, 337-8600 When: June 15, 2004 Why: It contains the most current occupation specific data available.

Tom Fitzgerald is Nevadaworks' CEO.


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