July saw more improvement in Nevada’s unemployment rate as the seasonally adjusted rate dripped 0.1 percent and the raw rate dropped 0.4 percent, both ending up at 9.5 percent.
In the state’s major reporting areas, the decrease was significant. Las Vegas was down 0.4 percent to 9.7 percent, Reno-Sparks a half-percent to 9.3 percent and Carson City 0.6 percent to 9.5 percent.
Churchill County reported a 0.3 percent drop in unemployment to 7.8 percent, with just about 1,000 looking for work in a labor force of 12,930. The average for the year, though, is 8.3 percent.
Still buoyed by mining, Elko had the lowest rate at 5.7 percent, down from 6 percent in June.
But in a seeming contradiction, job numbers decreased in July by 10,200. Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said that doesn’t signal a looming downturn, “but more so highlights the inherent volatility of the monthly job estimates.”
He said the typical July decline is about 8,300, partly the result of the end of the school year.
Anderson said it makes more sense to focus on the year-to-date trend rather than any single month-to-month change. He pointed out that total jobs are up some 22,200 so far this year, and the unemployment rate is down nearly 2 percent from a year ago.
Of the 10,200 lost jobs in July, Las Vegas reported a decrease of 6,200, Reno-Sparks 1,600 and Carson City 100.
In Carson City, the loss was in public-sector government jobs, with both the state and local categories down slightly.
Despite slow improvement, Nevada remains well above the national rate of 7.4 percent.
“The news, which shows a decline in the unemployment rate, also shows that job numbers have decreased slightly in the last month,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “While these are conflicting signals, the underlying trends remain positive and show that jobs are up more than 22,000 during the first seven months of this year compared to 2012 and the unemployment rate is down nearly two points. These trends, along with other measures show our economy’s strength, and continue to point toward stable and modest growth.”
Nevada’s 9.5 percent rate translates to 130,400 jobless in a labor force of 1,373,900. Some 95,800 of those are in Las Vegas, with 20,400 in Reno-Sparks and 2,600 in Carson City.
Douglas did even better, cutting 0.9 percent off its rate at 9.5 percent for July. That translates to 2,090 jobless in a pool of 22,010.
Lyon County still has the state’s highest rate, but it fell to 12.2 percent in July, its lowest in well over two years. Of the 22,250 people in that worker pool, 2,720 are seeking jobs.