Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent to 8.7 percent in January, the result of a seasonal adjustment.
The raw, or unadjusted, rate increased from 8.7 percent to 8.9 percent compared with December.
Carson City, where no adjustments to the rate are made, saw its unemployment number increase more than 1 percent, from 9.2 to 10.3 percent, reflecting the loss of some 300 jobs. Total employment in the capital finished January at 23,900.
The key factor in that seasonal adjustment is the layoff of temporary retail and other workers hired to handle the holiday shopping season. The seasonal adjustment removes those expected job losses from the calculation — resulting, in this case, in an artificial reduction in unemployment.
But January also was the 37th straight month of year-over-year job growth and the first time since 2008 that more than 1.2 million Nevadans were employed.
“We have continued to have steady growth and more Nevadans are working again,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.
While he says that the state has added 60,700 “new private-sector jobs” in the past three years, the vast majority are positions restored by recovering businesses rather than new jobs, as well as jobs within the hospitality industry.
The Las Vegas reporting area held steady at 8.9 percent from December to January, with job growth offsetting the seasonal loss and total employment actually climbing by nearly 7,000 to 901,000.
The Reno-Sparks area, which includes Washoe and Storey counties, saw recovery partially offset the seasonal loss. Total employment fell only 1,700 to 204,000. But that caused a spike in the rate of 0.9 percent to 9.1 percent.
The seasonal job reductions also hit Elko with an increase of about 1 percent, but unemployment there was still just 6.5 percent.
Churchill County saw an increase of just 0.1 percent to 8 percent in January. The total labor force fell just over 1,000 to 12,680. The number of jobless remained the same — just over 1,000.
In Douglas County, the unemployment rate actually went down 0.2 percent to 10 percent, with 2,110 looking for work.
Lyon County’s rate held steady at 13 percent — still highest in the state — with 2,770 of 21,310 in the labor force seeking a job.