But Las Vegas ranked only 59th in the percentage of its total workforce with infrastructure jobs.
The think tank’s Metropolitan Policy Program, based in Washington, D.C., used 2012 data to report Thursday night that the Las Vegas metro area supported 81,930 infrastructure jobs, or 10.3 percent of the total area employment of 796,540.
That percentage was slightly below the 11 percent of the nation’s workforce employed in building or operating infrastructure systems.
“We have learned through this report that infrastructure is a much more significant factor in a healthy job market than we thought, with more than 14 million workers employed in a large assortment of industries, including utilities, construction and government,” said Joseph Kane, policy and research assistant at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of the report.
“By gaining a full understanding of the actual size and scope of this segment of our economy, policymakers will be in a stronger position to develop targeted solutions to better manage the country’s infrastructure as well as address our jobs deficit.”
The report stated that infrastructure workers at the lower ends of the income scale earn 30 percent more than all workers at those levels nationally. Brookings found that in Las Vegas half of all workers earned less than $15.60 an hour while half of all individuals with infrastructure jobs earned less than $18.80 an hour.
Brookings found that many infrastructure jobs “have low barriers to entry, requiring less formal education, which makes them accessible to a larger pool of workers. Only 12 percent of workers employed in infrastructure occupations hold a bachelor’s or higher level degree.”
The most common forms of infrastructure jobs in Las Vegas in 2012 involved laborers and movers of freight, stock and other material, which accounted for 11,890 positions. Next on the list were taxi drivers and chauffeurs (10,420 jobs), followed by light truck or delivery service drivers (4,770).