Las Vegas, Meet Your Peers

What does Las Vegas have in common with Laredo, Texas, and Jacksonville, N.C.? A huge share of service workers—the largest and least-paid category of worker in the U.S.

With 59 percent of its workers in service jobs, Las Vegas ranks sixth among U.S. cities. It is the only major metropolitan area to make the top 20.

Other cities that are dominated by service workers:

Myrtle Beach, S.C. — 64.9 percent.

Ocean City, N.J. — 62.7 percent.

Laredo, Texas — 58.3 percent.

Missoula, Mont. — 56.3 percent.

Jacksonville, N.C. — 54.8 percent.

“The only way to improve [the service class’] members’ prospects,” says Richard Florida, who published the study in his role as co-founder and editor-at-large at, “is to upgrade the work they perform—to make it more creative and hence more productive and remunerative.”

Or, perhaps, offer better education and diversify the economy.