The Biggest Little City has averaged more than 10,000 new jobs to the region for the past two years.
Per the EDAWN (Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada) Executive Updates job growth chart, Reno is ahead of the projections for 52,400 new jobs for the five-year period January 2015 – 2019. The unemployment rate has dropped from over 13% five years ago to under 5% as we are approaching full employment.
In a normal market nationwide, typical population growth is about 1% every year and Nevada is almost double that rate. The state was named one of the two fastest growing states in the last year and has attracted several new companies and startups to the community.
There are still a projected 30,000 new jobs to be filled over the years by Nevadans coming home, graduates from the state’s education institutions as well as newcomers to the area. But why are people coming here or why do they live here? The answer may vary slightly, but the gist is the same – I came here for a job and then fell in love with Northern Nevada; I came here to escape the rat race (usually our neighbor, California); I graduated from UNR; I have family in the area and learned how great it was so I decided to join them. It isn’t hard to come up with a reason to love the area. Living here is easy – more than 300 days of sunshine a year, four beautiful seasons, income tax free living, an easily accessible international airport, a PAC-10 University and other great schooling options, Lake Tahoe, traffic hardly exists, the list could go on and on.
While the list is nearly endless, the outcome is the same. Talented people are coming here, love it and are investing themselves and their businesses in the area. Bombora, a B2B data startup based out of New York, moved key team members to Reno and now has 18 employees. Capstak, a commercial real estate technology company, plans to hire 25 people this year and Clickbio, an innovative lab tools company, announced it has raised $285,000 in capital. Also, the recent announcement of Ozmen Ventures, our startups and entrepreneurs have access to a seed and early stage venture capital fund.
So far for this year, startups in the Northern Nevada region have raised more than $25 million, which is almost double the amount raised last year. Capital spurs entrepreneurial growth, a critical piece of the regional economic development and EDAWN is supporting this ecosystem.
“The big shift for me is putting more energy into attracting startups.” Doug Erwin, vice president of EDAWN, said. “The organic growth is great and it’s happening.”
Another recent company that has been attracted to the area is Petrichor, a technology startup from Ohio that recently moved four millennial employees along with high tech salaries. Their CEO Jake Warner said “The biggest reason we chose Reno is because we needed to live a place where the talent wanted to move. Everyone here is willing to make introductions and that’s a very valuable thing.”
Petrichor also considered Seattle and Austin before deciding on Reno after they walked into the new hot-spot The Basement downtown. Zazzle is another company saying similar things. The online marketplace allows designers and customers to make their own products and just announced that they are bringing 250 jobs to the area. Bridget Smith, vice president, said it’s hard for them to do business from a manufacturing perspective in California. They chose Reno because of the friendly business environment and the high quality of life. “We are simply hoping for a better lifestyle for our employees,” Smith said.
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