Anyone able to snag a Las Vegas job opening is likely to get paid more than workers in most other cities. A recent report from Forbes used data from PayScale to rank the income of workers in the 100 largest metro areas throughout the country. The Las Vegas area was ranked 15th, with the city’s median pay increasing 13.9 percent from $51,500 in 2005 to $58,700 in 2009.
El Paso, Texas, was ranked first, as the city’s median income increased by 19.4 percent to $49,100. On the other end of the scale, Harrisburg, Pa., was ranked last, with the city’s median pay decreasing by.74 percent to $50,600.
Other cities close to Las Vegas that have been having economic trouble also placed well on the list. Phoenix was ranked 10th, with the city’s median pay increasing by 15 percent to $61,100, while Bakersfield, Calif., was ranked second, as the city’s median income increased by 18.5 percent to $60,900.
The report noted that in some cities, high unemployment may actually correlate to an increase in median pay. Even though a company may lay off a large number of staff numbers, the people left behind are usually in higher-paid positions, which causes the overall average salary to increase.
Although it appears as though the Las Vegas economy is improving, many experts say a recent decrease in the city’s unemployment rate is only a result of a shrinking workforce. In keeping with that theory, the city has continued to see a monthly and yearly decrease in employment.
During November, the Las Vegas-Paradise area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 13 percent to 12.1 percent, following a decrease from 13.9 percent during October. Despite the decrease, the area’s current rate is still higher than the national unemployment rate of 10 percent.
The Las Vegas area had a total non-farm employment of 843,100 workers during November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 851,900 workers during October and a 6.7 percent decrease from last year.