Posted: Jan 7, 2011 1:04 PM by Greg Boyce
LAS VEGAS (AP) - A sociology professor studying Nevada's economy says Las Vegas is the least educated major metropolitan area in the West.
Robert Lang says roughly 19 percent of Las Vegans obtain a bachelor's degree, compared to 31 percent of people in northern New Mexico and 27 percent in the Phoenix area. Lang is the director of Brookings Mountain West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He spoke Friday at an economic summit held at the school. Las Vegas was once considered the most affluent major Western city and a last bastion for low-educated workers seeking middle-class wages. But Lang says Nevada can no longer count on the gambling industry to keep afloat its communities or state coffers. The state's unemployment rate of 14.3 percent is the highest in the nation. The Labor Department says the national unemployment rate has fallen to 9.4 percent.