Southern Nevada's Shrinking Public Workforce

Most taxpayer-supported agencies in Southern Nevada have had to reduce their workforce due to the financial strains of the last recession, but none have been hit harder than North Las Vegas.

The city, which has faced a budget crisis, had 2,887 full- and part-time employees who were paid in 2009 but only 1,951 in 2012, a 32.4 percent reduction. Among those workers who were paid at least $20,000, the numbers fell 30.7 percent from 1,923 in 2009 to 1,332 last year.

A closer look at the shrinking workforce shows that the pain has been spread throughout City Hall, resulting in far fewer police and corrections officers, firefighters, building inspectors, park maintenance workers and street sweepers. Court clerk II employees kept their jobs but all of the lower-paid court clerk I positions were eliminated.

All other Southern Nevada agencies, with one exception, also had fewer employees making at least $20,000 in 2012 than in 2009. The lone exception was the Regional Transportation Commission, which had eight more employees making at least that amount in 2012 than three years earlier.

But of the nine agencies that furnished complete employment data for 2009 through 2012, six reported having more total employees in 2012 than three years earlier. That means some of these agencies have relied more heavily on part-time or lower-paid workers to help maintain services.

An example is Clark County, which paid 13,365 individuals in 2012, 15.6 percent more than the 11,566 who were cut checks in 2009. The county had 2,792 employees without a job classification who made less than $20,000 each last year, compared to only 738 in 2009.

The county in 2012 also had 288 more program assistants and 195 more office assistants than in 2009 who were paid less than $20,000.

But the number of county employees paid at least $20,000 dropped 8.8 percent from 7,634 in 2009 to 6,962 last year.


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