Nevada jobless rate climbs in March

Nevada's unemployment rate rose in March to 10.4 percent, its highest level in a quarter of a century, according to a state report released Friday.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation report shows the seasonally adjusted rate was up from 10 percent in February " and also shows the state well above the national jobless rate of 8.5 percent in March. About 146,200 Nevadans were out of work while 1.2 million others held jobs.

Compared with other states, Nevada has the nation's seventh-highest rate. Michigan leads with a 12.6 percent jobless rate.

A breakdown for Nevada shows increases also occurred in the state's population centers, including the Las Vegas area at 10.4 percent, up from 10.1 percent.

In the Reno area, the rate hit 11.2 percent in March, up from 11.1 percent in February.

"The rate would have been higher if not for a decline in the labor force," said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. "Nearly 14,000 Nevada workers dropped out of the labor force from the previous month. Most were likely too discouraged to actively seek employment."

Anderson added that job levels in Nevada have declined by more than 7 percent since the December 2007 start of the national recession.

For the Las Vegas area, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in March was based on total employment of 898,800 people and a jobless total of 104,100.

The Reno area's 11.2 percent non-seasonally adjusted rate was based on total employment of 201,100 and a jobless total of 25,300.

Carson City-area unemployment held steady at 11.3 percent between February and March. Employment in the area totaled about 26,200 and unemployment totaled about 3,300.

Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties declined from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent from month to month. There were 26,700 people working in the area during March and about 1,800 without jobs.

A month-to-month breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed casino-related leisure and hospitality hiring was down 400; hiring in professional business services was down 1,700; construction was down 800; manufacturing was down 200 and mining held steady.

Government hiring was up 200, education-health services was up 400; hiring in the financial activities sector was up 100; and information services hiring was down 100.


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