HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — As hundreds of thousands of Southern Nevadans get back to work, more people are changing careers. One big driving factor is Amazon.
It is not surprising when you think about how much you may have bought online during the pandemic, but Amazon is a major part of the area’s economic recovery. The company hired 10,000 people in 2020, many of whom transitioned from other industries.
One of those people is Matt Resnick.
“Unfortunately, with everything that happened with COVID and the pandemic, my position was eliminated,” Resnick shared, standing outside Amazon’s huge Henderson distribution center. The giant facility near the Raiders Headquarters off St. Rose Parkway is the last stop before packages are delivered across the south valley.
“I think that the pandemic definitely fueled the increase in the amount of e-commerce and deliveries within all sectors,” Resnick said. He came to Amazon as an operations manager from the hospitality industry after being laid off in October. Both jobs have similar skill sets, he said, including running large teams and working directly with customers.
The Southern Nevada market lost about 250,000 jobs during the pandemic, data from Applied Analysis, an economics research firm, revealed. As of May 2021, nearly two-thirds of the lost positions had returned.
While the hospitality and travel industries have hired many employees back, another sector is seeing major growth: trade, transportation and utilities. That’s the one for Amazon.
Comparing May 2019 to May 2021, the sector added 13,500 jobs, while the hospitality industry lost 80,900, according to Applied Analysis. This can be the result of two things: the hotel industry remains behind its 2020 employment highs, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector continued to grow amid the pandemic.
Another growth area over the two-year span is education, data showed.
“There’s been a lot of leisure and hospitality employees that have been sitting on the sidelines since the start of the pandemic,” Brian Gordon, principal at Applied Analysis, said. “Some have come back, a significant number have come back, but we have a long way to go.”
International restrictions on travel and the lack of a booming convention scene amid the economic rebound mean all the jobs pre-pandemic are not back yet, Gordon said.
“Those segments of the market are really holding back, I think, the tourism economy here in Nevada,” he said.
“I didn’t at first think that hospitality might blend with that, but when I started reading more of some of the job descriptions, I found that it’s really about leading large teams, engaging with your employees,” Resnick said about his new position.
Employees like Resnick have made the jump, turning the corner and trying something new, without waiting for all the hospitality jobs to come back.
By year’s end, Amazon plans to open five more warehouses across Nevada, meaning thousands of more openings.
“Each of those sites will have more employees, new employees, more people to hire,” Resnick said.
Data from June showed there are 9.2 million job openings in the country for an estimated 9.5 million unemployed Americans.
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