Aug 27 New Jersey's Atlantic County, which
includes the struggling gambling mecca of Atlantic City, saw the
biggest employment drop of all U.S. metropolitan areas in July
compared to the same time last year, according to preliminary
U.S. Labor Department data on Wednesday.
Hit hard by casino closures and increasing gambling
competition in neighboring states, the New Jersey shore city and
surrounding townships combined saw nonfarm payrolls shrink by
3,600 in July year-over-year, or 2.6 percent. That is the
biggest decrease in both number and percentage for U.S.
The data, which includes government sector employment, is
not seasonally adjusted.
The hotel industry accounted for the bulk of the job loss,
with employment falling by more than 3,000 over the year, said
Bruce Bergman, a Bureau of Labor Statistics economist.
Casino hotels accounted for almost three-quarters of the
decline, he said.
By comparison, Nevada's Clark County, which includes Las
Vegas, saw its nonfarm employment rise by 25,700, or 3 percent,
since last year. Las Vegas is less dependant on its casino
industry for overall economic activity than Atlantic City.
Revel Casino Hotel, a shiny new resort touted by Governor
Chris Christie as a new model for Atlantic City, is currently in
its second bankruptcy since opening in 2012 and will close after
the last guest leaves on Sept. 1. By the end of September, four
of the city's casinos will have closed this year.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Chris Reese)