Rising gold prices have created a hiring boom in Nevada’s mining community, opening up new job opportunities for thousands of job seekers across the state.
Nevada was among a handful of states hit hardest by the recent economic downturn. High unemployment rates and a depressed housing market have devastated Las Vegas and other areas, forcing many residents to look outside the state for employment.
But it turns out that high gold prices ($1,700+ per ounce) may have a silver lining for Nevada job seekers. According to an informal survey conducted by the Nevada Mining Associat
ion, the gold mining industry is poised to add 1,200 to 1,500 new jobs across the state.
Currently, Nevada mining directly employs 12,000 workers with another 48,000 workers employed by companies that provide support for the mining industry. With most mining growth occurring in Elko and other locations in the northeastern part of the state, the sudden boost in employment may provide a much-needed shot in the arm to rural Nevada communities.
“In northern Nevada, the economy had all but turned off with the construction industry, new housing permits and the entire market basically coming to a standstill,” says Rick Reviglio of Western Nevada Supply, a Reno construction materials company.
“Mining is the one industry that has continued to support the region and its businesses. The mining industry hasn’t just provided employment to their workers – it has allowed other businesses like mine – Western Nevada Supply – to retain employees and stay viable.”
As the average annual income of a Nevada mineworker hovers around $83,000, competition for available positions can be fierce. But depending on the availability of mining permits and trained workers, the mining industry hopes to add even more jobs on a go-forward basis and play a larger role in Nevada’s initiative to add 50,000 jobs over the next three years.