Leaving Las Vegas: Has ‘Sin City’ gone bust?

HOW LOW CAN WE GO?
September 7, 2010: Las Vegas has been called the “New Detroit” by union officials. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Detroit’s population has declined to less than 800,000 from a high of two million in 1950.

But the number no one has ever had a good handle on was how many people were (or are now) moving out of Las Vegas. U-Haul’s estimate that 2% more people are moving out than are moving in might be right, but doesn’t jibe with what the guys at Bekins told me recently. They said they are very busy and that the ratio was 2 to 1 people moving out of Vegas to moving in and some days it is 3 to 1.

Another group leaving Las Vegas and not showing up to rent trucks at UHaul are illegal immigrants who provided much of the boom time construction labor in the city. According to today’s Wall Street Journal, “The influx of illegal immigrants plunged to an estimated 300,000 annually between March 2007 and 2009, from 850,000 a year between March 2000 and March 2005, according to new study released Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group,” states Cristian Science Monitor.

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