Jobs in Nevada Manufacturing Industry
The impact of the figures surrounding the manufacturing sector in the state of Nevada include declining unemployment rates, expanding manufacturing base, etc. Likewise, the effects of the shift in the Nevada manufacturing industry to a more tech-centric focus include the development of new technological products, increasing investments into education to enhance technical skills, among others.
I. Impact of Nevada's Manufacturing Statistics
Declining Unemployment Rates
- The growth of the manufacturing industry in Nevada has reduced unemployment rates. Massive projects such as the Tesla Gigafactory that started in 2015 will employ over 10,000 individuals once in full operation.
- Generally, unemployment rates have been declining in all the state's densely populated areas. For instance, in the Las Vegas MSA, unemployment rates have been dropping from 4.5% in December 2018, to 3.5% in December 2019.
- In 15 out of 17 counties in Nevada, unemployment rates have been decreasing on a year-over-year basis. Manufacturing activities in both Las Vegas and Reno-Sparks have contributed significantly to the recovery and expansion of the state's economy over the past decade.
- Since December 2018, the manufacturing industry created over 4,000 new jobs and was ranked fourth out of eleven sectors.
Expanding Manufacturing Base
- The Nevada manufacturing industry is rapidly expanding and contributes significantly to the state's gross domestic product (GDP).
- From December 2017 to December 2018, the state's manufacturing sector registered the highest growth rate of 14%, compared to all other sectors.
- The state's governor has faith in the manufacturing sector, which is among seven industries that will help Nevada diversify its economy and create good-paying jobs in the future.
- Nevada also focuses on bringing more manufacturing businesses to the state. In 2017, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) managed to attract 17 new manufacturers to the state.
Strong Manufacturing Exports
- Nevada's manufacturing exports contribute substantially to the state's economy. In 2018, manufacturing exports earned the state $10.42 billion, which boosted employment growth in the state.
- In 2018, 87% of all exporting businesses in Nevada were small businesses. Manufacturing goods constituted 93.98% of the total manufactured goods exports. From 2010 to 2018, the manufactured good exports have grown by 104.11%.
- The top export market for Nevada's exports in 2018 includes Switzerland importing 32.71% of the total manufactured goods exports, India 16.05%, Canada 10.78%, China 6.07%, and Mexico 5.55%.
- Overall, Nevada's manufactured goods export figures have been climbing since 2000, and only stagnated during the recession.
Increasing Good-Paying Manufacturing Jobs
- The expanding manufacturing sector has led to the birth of new jobs that pay well.
- Examples of the new job roles projected to grow from 2018 to 2020 include manufacturing sales representatives, metal fabricators & fitters, mechanical engineers and drafters, shipping clerks, etc.
- Most of these jobs pay over $20 an hour, with some reaching $30 per hour.
- In 2018, most companies paid annual average wages of $70,000 or more, while in 2016, the average was $36,000.
II. Shifting Nevada's Manufacturing Sector to a More Tech-centric One
Globally, there is a shift in manufacturing processes and decision-making, driven mainly by the interaction of the digital world, people, and the physical world. These changes have affected the manufacturing ecosystem, specifically regarding the incorporation of technology in manufacturing. Notable shifts in manufacturing in the state of Nevada include
Developing New Technologies
- The shift in the manufacturing sector to a more technology-focused one has led to the development of new technologies to support operations in the manufacturing industry.
- For example, the autonomous robots Labs (ARL) at the University of Nevada, Reno is building a sophisticated technology for autonomous aerial robots.
- These robots will help to explore, map, monitor, and survey underground mines when it is risky for humans or when the global positioning system (GPS) cannot work.
- Overall, in Nevada, many companies are also developing new technologies for the mining industries and seeking patents for that intellectual property. Some are even selling their technologies abroad.
Investments in STEM
- Increasing investments in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), will create the necessary skill set future employees would need to work alongside smart machines.
- These advanced workers, along with smart machines, will help augment the technology in the manufacturing sector. Again, while upgrading to a more digitized manufacturing world and offering similar training, a need for ‘softer’ interpersonal skills will emerge.
- Importantly, most manufacturers are incorporating three critical technologies into their processes, namely automation, internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies have contributed to a shift in the current economic paradigm.
- The investments made today are preparing the Nevada manufacturing industry for a future where it would be a complex smart network of integrated systems of intelligent machines, and automated production lines and processes.
Smart Workers Working Alongside Smart Machines
- While the prevalent rhetoric suggests that automation and robotics in the manufacturing industry will result in job losses, new research findings show that new jobs would replace today's job losses in the future.
- Therefore, most current job roles will not cease to exist but re-emerge as new job roles requiring further training.
- In this regard, people who may lose their jobs today will be retrained and retooled to perform new roles in the future.
- In states like Nevada that are investing in technology in the manufacturing sector will also attract companies that will dominate the job market in the future.
Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways
- The state is also developing standards for Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways that apply to its associated high school certificates.
- The Nevada government is also spearheading initiatives like the Learn and Earn Advanced Career Pathway (LEAP), designed to help current employees level up to match the new requirements of future jobs.
- These pathways will feature several technical elements that lead to qualification and certification with a set of specific skills.
- The certifications or degrees will also allow employers to understand the associated skill set of employees, as well as assess the abilities of potential employees.
- Overall, the programs will help Nevada transition to a more technological-based manufacturing hub with qualified personnel with the necessary skills that future jobs will demand. They will also support the state's continuous life-long learning and training.
Extensive searches across Nevada's government databases, annual economic outlook reports, manufacturing economy reports, as well as industry and news articles have helped uncover information about the impact the manufacturing figures have in Nevada, along with the impact of the shift in the Nevada manufacturing industry to a more tech-centric focus. The reports examined are published by reputable institutions and companies. They include Nevada Workforce, the Western Alliance Bancorporation, the National Association of Manufacturers, Nevada Appeal, Nevada Stem Hub, and Nevada Business. These reports contain both qualitative and quantitative data, along with expert opinions. Overall, the information presented above shows some major impacts the manufacturing sector in Nevada has had on the state, along with the effects of shifting the state's manufacturing industry to a more tech-focused one.