State unemployment rate below 7 percent for first time since 2008

Nevada’s unemployment rate fell below 7 percent for the first time since June 2008.

Both the seasonally adjusted and raw rates ended November at 6.9 percent with less than 100,000 Nevadans looking for work in a pool of nearly 1.4 million workers.

Reno-Sparks reported the lowest rate of the major metropolitan areas at 6.4 percent while Las Vegas came in at 7.1 percent. Both those numbers are 1.9 percent less than the same month of 2013.

Carson City’s rate also was 7.1 percent for the month. But Carson’s rate is down 2.1 percentage points over the past year. There are an estimated 1,860 jobless in Carson’s 26,070 labor pool.

“This is tremendous news for the state of Nevada,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “This news is a direct reflection on the strong, solid growth we are witnessing in our labor market which is becoming more sustainable and diversified.”

The Elko area, still well supported by the mining industry boom, had just 4.4 percent unemployment in November. Mining jobs, however, continue to trend down as the price of gold has fallen significantly. Mining has lost 500 jobs over the year.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the state has added 27,100 jobs over the past year including 3,100 jobs restored in the hard-hit construction industry. He said while recovery has been slow, it has been steady — this is the 47th consecutive year-over-year growth in the number of jobs.

Burt professional and business services reported the highest growth rate at 7.5 percent, an increase of 11,300 jobs over the year.

Leisure and hospitality, the state’s largest jobs generator, was down compared to November 2013, but only by 100 jobs.

Churchill County unemployment held steady compared with October. The rate there was just 5.4 percent or 670 looking for work in a pool of 12,580.

Douglas County reported a 7.1 rate matching that of Carson City. Douglas has 1,490 job seekers out of 20,890 in the labor force.

Lyon County, while still suffering compared with most Nevada counties, was at 8.9 percent unemployment as November ended. That translates to 2,000 jobless out of 22,360 workers.


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