Confusing month as seasonally adjusted unemployment rises while raw rate drops

While Nevada's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose a tenth in August to 12.1 percent, the raw rate actually declined a full half percent from July.

The raw rate closely mirrors what happened in the state's major reporting areas. Las Vegas and Carson City each saw a six-tenths decrease in unemployment to 12.3 percent and 11.6 percent respectively. Reno-Sparks saw a half percent drop to 11.5 percent. Local market data isn't seasonally adjusted.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the reason, for the most part, is that job growth wasn't as strong as anticipated. Historically, he said, the state would have expected 3,100 added jobs but only 2,100 were produced, making for a negative seasonal adjustment of 1,000 jobs.

Through the first eight months of this year, private-sector jobs are up 12,800 over the same period of 2011.

In addition, more people are returning to the workforce and seeking employment. Statewide, that caused the total number of unemployed to actually increase 2,200 to 165,900.

For August, the private sector gained 6,500 jobs compared with August 2011. However, that was offset was offset a bit by the loss of 1,300 public-sector jobs over that same period. Ironically, the government sector posted a solid gain from July to August, adding 1,200 jobs. State government accounted for 700 of those jobs.

Anderson said it's a good sign that the number of employers in Nevada has increased in each of the past four quarters after 10 consecutive quarters of decreases.. As of the second quarter of 2012, there were 57,500 employers in the state.

Anderson said all but one of the major service-providing industries are adding jobs. He said the financial activities sector isn't adding jobs due to its ties to the construction-real estate market.

He added that the number of Nevadans working part time when they'd rather be full time has decreased from more than 105,000 to less than 100,000.

Carson City reported 3,200 of 27,900 workers looking for jobs. Reno-Sparks had 25,700 jobless in a 223,000 workforce, and Las Vegas 121,000 jobless out of 954,900.

Churchill County saw its unemployment rate decline a half percent to 9.9 percent with 1,340 of 13,510 jobless.

Douglas County had a 12.1 percent rate in August, down six-tenths. That translates to 2,660 out of work in a workforce of 22,060. Lyon County, hardest hit in the state, showed some improvement in August, dropping four-tenths to 14.9 percent. There are 23,080 in Lyon's workforce, 3,430 of them looking for work.


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