Nevada unemployment rate drops in September
October 20, 2012
Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped below 12 percent in September as more workers found jobs.Seasonally adjusted, the decline was just three tenths to 11.8 percent. But the raw rate, which compares with individual reporting areas in the state, fell a full eight-tenths to 11.2 percent.Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Economist Bill Anderson said the Las Vegas market’s unemployment in the state at 11.5 percent is down from 12.3 percent in August. Reno-Sparks saw a decline of seven tenths to 10.8 percent and Carson City to 10.9 percent, down from 11. 5 percent in August.The number of unemployed — not seasonally adjusted — dropped by 12,000 statewide over the month to 152,700. In the Las Vegas area, there were 112,500 unemployed out of 977,400 in the labor force. Carson City unemployment finished the month at just 3,000 out of 27,700 in the workforce — a 200 decrease — and Reno-Sparks at 24,100 out of 222,600 workers — down 1,400 from August. Churchill County saw its unemployment rate drop from 9.8 percent to 8.9 percent with 1,200 of 13,460 out of work.In Douglas County, the rate dropped six tenths to 11.4 percent with 2,460 jobless out of 21,640.And Lyon County, hardest hit in the state, reported a decrease of nine tenths to 14.2 percent. There were 3,210 out of work in a labor force of 22,530 there. But it wasn’t clear how many people got jobs compared with how many fell out of the system either by expiring their unemployment benefits, leaving the state or just giving up looking for work.Anderson said it’s a mix but that the growth in how many jobs are available is becoming stronger.Anderson said September typically sees an employment increase of 7,500, mostly public sector because of the start of school. This year, however, he said 14,600 jobs were added to the state’s economy, nearly double the norm.He said the numbers are encouraging, especially since the number of unemployed Nevadans is down some 27,000 compared with September a year ago.“When evaluated as a whole, the economy is slowly moving in a positive direction,” he said.In addition, Anderson said more jobs are expected to be added, primarily by retailers, during the holiday season. The Nevada retailers association issued a statement this week saying more seasonal jobs will be added than the 4,100 put on retail payrolls last year but that it won’t be a large increase.And Anderson said it won’t be anywhere close to the nearly 9,000 seasonal jobs added annually before the recession.The Silver State’s rate still is higher than the national jobless rate, which stands at 7.8 percent.