Unemployment climbs in Churchill, Lyon counties

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Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged up a tenth to 7.1 percent in January but the raw rate rose a full six tenths to 7.5 percent.

Churchill and Lyon counties, though,saw sharp increases from December.

Churchill County, which had an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent in December, climbed to 7.8 percent in January. Out of a workforce of 10,210, 800 were unemployed, 130 more than in December.

In neighboring Lyon County, which has been hit harder than most counties, saw its rate go up from 8.7 percent in December to 10.4 percent in January. The total workforce is 22,080, but only 19.780 had jobs.

Carson City’s rate increased a full percentage point to 8.5 percent with rising unemployment in state and local government posts as well as throughout the private sector.

Carson City finished the month with 24,900 in the workforce and 2,100 seeking a job.

Reno-Sparks saw a similar increase — nine-tenths to 7.4 percent — also in categories across the board. There were 16,400 looking for work in a labor pool of 222,800.

Even though those numbers are an increase from the previous month, the state’s overall unemployment rate is more than a percent below what it was a year ago.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said the increase in unemployment is a reflection of the number of Nevadans re-entering the workforce and looking for work. The way the state’s statistics work, those people who give up looking for work drop out of the calculations.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the state has added at least 40,000 jobs in each of the past six months compared to the same period a year ago.

“We think that job growth will continue through 2015,” he said. “Over time, that will put downward pressure on the unemployment rate.”

Statewide there are now less than 100,000 jobless seeking employment.

Small Businesses in Nevada Showing Steady Growth

Nearly 85 percent of the small business jobs lost during the downturn in Nevada have been recouped, with 20,000 added in the past year, said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Year-over-year gains have been recorded in each of the past 15 quarters. As of the third quarter of 2014, of the 1.07 million private sector jobs in Nevada, employment in firms with less than 100 employees totaled 573,000, while larger firms had a total of 495,000 employees.

“This is just 12,000 short of the prerecession peak reached in 2007,” Anderson said. “The news for small businesses in Nevada is encouraging as these businesses continue to steadily grow.”

During the recession, 75,000 jobs in small firms were lost, however there has been a steady trend of growth, resulting in 63,000 jobs being regained.

Since the recovery began in 2010, both large and small firms have grown at approximately the same rate - 12.3 percent for smaller establishments and 13.8 percent in establishments with at least 100 workers.

Large firms experienced greater declines in employment during the recession than did smaller firms, Anderson said. Specifically, establishments with at least 100 workers saw employment declines of nearly 24 percent, a loss of 136,000 jobs, as the downturn unfolded.


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