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Gallup CEO warns of future woes, calls job creation key

Written By:

Howard Stutz

Jim Clifton

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton didn’t try to put a positive spin on America’s future during his keynote address Friday at Preview Las Vegas 2014.

Clifton, who has been the consulting and public opinion research group’s CEO since 1988, said political and business leaders need to change their thinking if the U.S. economy is to rebound.

In 2013, Detroit became the largest municipality to ever file for bankruptcy protection. He warned the action could be repeated.

“It could be coast-to-coast Detroits unless something happens,” Clifton told about 2,000 attendees inside the Cox Pavilion at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “The country will be unrecognizable in the next 20 years unless something changes.”

Clifton said job creation is key. He recently authored “The Coming Jobs War,” in which he points out how workers will migrate to where good jobs are.

Preview Las Vegas, an annual event, is produced by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. It’s designed to give attendees a view of what to expect in the upcoming year in business.

In an interview after his address, Clifton said Las Vegas needs to move beyond gaming and tourism and into other businesses. He said visitation to Las Vegas will always be there even as other markets legalize casinos. The key, he said, is to look at new technologies and listen to “innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Clifton cited Nashville, Tenn., as an example. The city “is the king of country music, but country music doesn’t provide the city with a lot of revenues.” He said Nashville has branched out and become a leader in health care.


Las Vegas Review-Journal