Pedal-to-metal shown in jobless data; mid-2015 shift to overdrive possible?

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Economic recovery not only turned the corner with this year’s transition from spring to summer, it’s accelerating toward cruisin’ speed on the straightaway.

Barring a mind-boggling and strength-sapping geopolitical blowup, the United States, Nevada and Carson City are back like the McDonald’s restaurant at the corner of North Carson Street and Winnie Lane.

Proof is in the pudding represented by employment and unemployment data, which is firming like well-made tapioca.

Nevada’s latest jobless rate, reported in the Nevada Appeal on the first day of summer, dropped below 8 percent. The rate for May was 7.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, and 7.7 percent without the adjustment massaging. It’s the lowest level in six years. May’s biggest growth spurt sector was in construction, with 7,000 more jobs than a year ago, microscopic evidence of recovery in a key arena.

Carson City’s jobless rate for May was 8 percent, which was 2.1 percent lower than a year earlier.

Nationally, both the April and May rates were 6.3 percent, but that doesn’t mean things are better because the figure was lower or worse because there was no monthly improvement. One month’s data isn’t as important as is the longer term trend.

Nationally in the past decade the rate bottomed in May, 2007 at 4.4 percent, then steadily climbed to 6.5 percent in Oct., 2008 and zoomed to 10 percent in Oct., 2009. In other words, the economic swoon put the nation flat on its back. But the rate dropped slowly yet steadily since; it almost assuredly will drop again when the national June data will come in.

Additional signs: Nationally, the Federal Reserve signaled again improvements mean it will end economy-supporting bond buying as 2014 plays out; regionally, a report from the Appeal’s sister publication, Northern Nevada Business Weekly, that appeared in last Sunday’s Appeal noted employers are beginning to feel pressure in a tightening labor market.

It isn’t quite time to shift into overdrive, but the pedal is to the metal and overdrive may be just down the straightaway.

It took 18 months for the national jobless rate to rise from 4.4 percent to 6.5 percent between early 2007 and late 2008, another year to peak at 10 percent. The road to recovery, if it continues to follow the map, will send the national rate back around the 5 percent mark over the next year to 18 months. State and city progress will trend lower as well.

Now, as they used to say in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, for something completely different.

Mayor Robert Crowell said Tuesday it will amount to a ”de facto opt in” for the Board of Supervisors to adopt medical marijuana zoning and related local oversight ordinance language, which is expected the evening of July 3.

He said, however, actual opt in language remains possible when medical marijuana establishment applicants seek business licenses and special use permits for prospective medicinal pot firms if the local board deems it necessary then.

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at


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