Las Vegas’ economy is showing more signs of recovery as it climbed significantly in the yearly rankings of the world’s largest 200 metropolitan areas. The Brookings Institution Global MetroMonitor study had the city of sin up to 179th in the list – 20 places higher than between 2007 and 2010. Much of this was down to the metro area taking heed of the institution’s previous advice to “diversify its economy” and “improve its schools.”
Figures show the city has seen an increase of 0.1% in employment, which is in stark contrast to the 9.2% decline between 2007 and 2010. In addition, the level of unemployment in November 2011 was 12.5%, a decrease from 14.9% a year earlier. The city’s position in the lower quartile of the rankings is stark contrast to when the Nevadan city would find itself ranked 18th (between 1993 and 2007).
The remainder of the top 200 reflects a general trend of Asian domination being seen in all world economies and something the gaming industry will take comfort from. 11 of the top 20 cities in the ranking lie in the region classed as “Developing Asia-Pacific” with 90% of the fastest growing cities outside North America and Western Europe.
Asia holding most of the top positions gives credence to the widely held thought that Far East economies have a great deal more to offer for the gaming industry. Looking at the growth seen in Macau over the past couple of years shows the potential that online gaming would have in this part of the world. Any firm that has a nimble Asian-facing strategy will be at the forefront of growth over the next few years and with the economy as a whole this strong there’s little to worry about.