LAS VEGAS — Nevada shed 10,200 jobs between June and July, a decline of a magnitude not seen since the height of the economic downturn in early 2009, state employment officials said Friday.
But the news came with a twist — the state’s unemployment rate actually ticked down 0.1 percentage point month-over-month, dropping to 9.5 percent in July.
“While these are conflicting signals, the underlying trends remain positive,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement, noting the state is up 22,000 jobs in the first seven months of the year compared with the same time period last year. “These trends, along with other measures show our economy’s strength, and continue to point toward stable and modest growth.”
Leading the drop was the service providing industry, which shrank by more than 9,000 jobs between June and July. Within that sector, the education and health services category and the government category each lost 2,600 jobs.
Officials with the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation suggested the state was in a “summer stagnation in hiring,” adding that the last three months of job figures had been disappointing.
State economist Bill Anderson said a drop in job numbers doesn’t necessarily point to an oncoming downturn, but highlights the wide swings of job numbers from month to month.
“Recognizing this volatility, it is good practice to focus any trend analysis on year-to-date values in addition to discussing the month-to-month changes,” he said in a statement.
Among the positive trends in the state’s economy, the number of home-building permits issued so far this year is higher than it was for the same period last year, and consumer spending is on the rise.
Using slightly different, non-seasonally adjusted numbers, state officials calculated the unemployment rate had dropped in the state’s four main population hubs.
The Las Vegas area’s non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent in July from 10.1 percent the month earlier. Reno’s rate dropped from 9.8 percent to 9.3 percent, while Carson City’s jobless rate decreased from 10.1 percent to 9.5 percent.
Elko’s unemployment rate was down from 6 percent in June to 5.7 percent in July.
All of Nevada’s 17 counties saw their unemployment rates drop year-over-year, officials said.