County unemployment drops down to 7.6%

Nevada’s unemployment rate was down to 9.3 percent in October as the state recovered most of the jobs lost when school and college reopened in September.

That seasonal swing cost the state 8,800 jobs in September. Some 7,400 were added back in October, largely in retail categories.

The non-seasonally adjusted rate remained at 9.2 percent. Only the statewide rate is seasonally adjusted in the monthly reports.

The state’s population centers are reporting their lowest unemployment numbers since December 2008, with Reno faring best at 8.8 percent in both months and Las Vegas at 9.4 percent.

Churchill County is doing better than most other parts of the state, reporting an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent for October. That translates to 970 people looking for work in a labor force of 12,800. Carson City, however, reported an increase from 9.4 percent in September to 9.6 percent in October.

Unlike other parts of the state that have added jobs over the past year, Carson has lost 700 jobs compared with October 2012.

For the past month, those losses were reported in government employment and the leisure/hospitality industry. Over the past year, the losses also were in services and retail.

Economist Bill Anderson of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said seasonal hiring for the holidays is expected to match or exceed last year, when 10,400 jobs were added between September and December.

“While we are still below pre-recessionary levels, this is good news for those who depend on holiday hiring for an opportunity to return to work or to supplement their income,” he said.

The total Nevada work force continued to contract in October, dropping about 2,000 from the month before to 1.36 million. Most of that decrease was in the Las Vegas area.

The Reno area’s labor force grew by 1,000, but Carson City’s declined about 200 to 26,700.

Statewide, there are just shy of 126,000 people looking for jobs. In Carson City, that number is just 2,600.

The Elko area, fed by the continuing mining boom, remains the lowest-unemployment area with a rate of 5.5 percent. That is actually up 0.2 percent from September.

Douglas had a 9.6 percent rate, with 2,010 jobless among 20,880.

Lyon County continues to have the highest unemployment at 12.3 percent.

There are 2,670 people looking for work in a pool of 21,670. That, however, is a solid improvement over the 15.3 percent rate Lyon started this year at.

The state was put in the position of delaying September’s report until a week ago, then putting up October numbers this week, because of the three-week government shutdown. That shuttered the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which generates much of the detail used in the state reports. It took that agency until this week to catch up.


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