Even though Nevada added jobs and new claims for unemployment benefits went down in June, the jobless rate increased.
Churchill County saw its rate go up in June from 7.6 percent to 8.1 percent. There are just over 1,000 looking for work in a labor force of 12,960. May was the first time in more than two years that Churchill’s rate had been below 8 percent.
For Carson City, the increase was a full half-percent to 10.1 percent. That translates to 2,780 jobless in a labor force of 27,440.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, described the increase as seasonal, pushing the seasonally adjusted rate to 9.6 percent and the raw rate to 9.9 percent.
He pointed out that the state added 3,700 jobs in June.
“Based on historical trends, we would have expected a loss of about 3,400 jobs,” Anderson said. “While December, January, and February all saw claim levels fall by more than 7 percent, the pace of declines has fallen since January and May’s decline was less than 1 percent. This continues the ongoing multi-year trend with claim activity increasingly reflecting a stabilizing job market instead of one dominated by the extreme swings experienced during the worst years of the recession.”
The overall level of initial claims still remains higher than prior to the recession. From 2003 through 2007, Anderson said initial claims averaged less than 13,000 per month while over the last 12 months claims are averaging 17,700 per month. This pattern is very similar to the overall level of unemployment in the state, which sharply increased during the recession and has only slowly been falling over the years since.
He added that the 9.9 percent rate is significantly lower than the 11.5 percent reported for June 2012.
“All in all, the June report suggests that the jobs picture in Nevada remains on the mend,” he said.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said he was pleased that there have now been job gains year-over-year for the past 30 months — and that those gains are in nearly all sectors of the economy.
Las Vegas reported the same 10.1 percent jobless rate as Carson City, an increase of 0.8 percent over May. Reno was slightly lower, at 9.8 percent, but that is a half-percent higher than May.
Elko still has the lowest unemployment rate, at 6 percent. But that, too, is up from May, when that area reported just 5.2 percent looking for work.
Lyon County saw an increase of 0.6 percent to 13.1 percent — which is still the state’s highest unemployment rate. Nearly 3,000 are seeking work there.
The increase in the number of jobs was centered largely on the construction industry, which added 2,500 workers.
But there still are 132,400 Nevadans looking for work.