Las Vegas Gaining on Other Metros in Exports

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

The latest Brookings Export Monitor is out, and it shows Las Vegas gaining on other major metropolitan areas over the last 15 years. In 2017, the city had real exports totaling $9 billion. That ranks Vegas 41st among the largest 100 metros, up from 48th in 2013.

The share of exports in the city’s GDP was ranked 91st 15 years ago, and that is to be expected with a tourism economy that largely draws people in. While were’s still in the bottom half, Las Vegas increased its export share of GDP to 8.1% and climbed 27 spots. We’ve also essentially doubled our direct export-supported jobs.

While the long-term trends look pretty good, the city has actually negative growth in exports over the last few years, though over the same period the US average has been pretty close to zero:

So what does Las Vegas export? As counterintuitive as it might seem, travel and tourism make up the bulk of exports, followed by manufacturing and engineering:

It is mostly growth in our bread and butter sectors that has propelled Las Vegas of the last 15 years: