News Column

Las Vegas Rates Poorly for 'Wallet Wellness'

April 23, 2013
Las Vegas suburbs (file photo)
Las Vegas suburbs (file photo)

Stung by a weak economy, Las Vegas has some of the fewest economic opportunities and highest stress levels in America, a new report says.

The Las Vegas Valley is 28th out of the 30 largest metro areas for its "wallet wellness," or likelihood that residents will lead a financially satisfying, low-stress lifestyle, according to CardHub.com, a website where consumers shop and apply for credit cards.

Riverside, Calif., was ranked last, followed by Portland, Ore., at 29th. Minneapolis took top billing.

CardHub, owned by Evolution Finance Inc. in Washington, D.C., said it analyzed job growth, income levels, transportation costs and commute times. These and other factors highlight the economic opportunities and "daily frustration" of living in each metro area, the report said.

Las Vegas has an average commute time of just 10.43 minutes but carries the second worst job growth rate, -0.98 percent, according to CardHub. Las Vegans' purchasing power was deemed fifth lowest among the 30 metro areas.

The goal of the study was to find the country's "sweet spots" for financial prosperity and overall happiness, Evolution Finance CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou said in a prepared statement.

"You're obviously not going to feel your best if you can't find a job or you get stuck in traffic for hours on end every day, watching your daily take-home dwindle as you burn gas yet go nowhere," he said.

Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate, second highest mortgage delinquency rate and fourth highest credit card delinquency rate in the country. The valley has the highest percentage of underwater homeowners, whose mortgage debt exceeds their home value, and is tied for having the fourth worst consumer credit score in the country.

Despite these and other financial woes, consumer spending is on the rise in Las Vegas.

Clark County car and auto parts dealers, furniture and accessories stores, and electronics and appliance retailers brought in a combined $409 million in taxable sales in January, according to state data. That's up 20 percent from January 2012 and up 36 percent from January 2009, during the depths of the recession.

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(c)2013 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Copyright Las Vegas Sun (NV) 2013


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