Unemployment rate up a bit in October

Nevada's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose 0.2 percent from September to October.

The rate of 4.4 percent is 0.7 percent above the same month of 1998, but officials point out that was one of the lowest rates in recent Nevada history.

The state's raw unemployment rate with no adjustments remained at 4.1 percent - the same as September. The difference between the two is made up of adjustments for such things as students who voluntarily pull themselves out of the job market during the school year.

The lowest rate in the state comes from the Reno area, where just 2.7 percent of workers are without jobs.

Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Director Carol Jackson said the state's economy is creating new jobs at "a respectable rate." But she said rural counties are still feeling the pinch of mining layoffs over the past year.

She said the power behind Nevada's economy comes from its two metropolitan areas and, while Reno is behind Las Vegas in creating new jobs, the area added 3.4 percent more over the past year.

According to the state, there were 967,100 in the Nevada labor force in October and only about 39,000 out of work.

In the Carson City area, which includes the capital, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, the raw unemployment rate rose 0.1 percent from September to October to 4.1 percent. The labor force in the area totals 54,740. That is the same rate as October 1998.

In Las Vegas, the rate was 4.3 percent compared with 4.4 percent in September and 3.5 percent a year ago. That area has a total labor force of 751,000.

In Elko, the numbers don't look bad on the surface with unemployment up 0.1 percent over the past year to 4 percent in October. But, largely because of the depressed mining industry, Elko is the only area in the state losing workers. The unemployment rate would have risen dramatically except that more than 900 workers left the area in the past year.


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