State jobless rate rises due to Las Vegas losses

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Unemployment increased slightly statewide in December, but the increase was entirely confined to the Las Vegas Metro reporting area.

The jobless rate rose from 4.9 percent to 5.2 percent, a decrease of 1,300 jobs. Employment in Las Vegas decreased by 1,600 jobs.

But the Reno reporting area saw an increase of 500 jobs and the Carson City area an increase of 200 jobs over November. The jobless rate in Washoe County was 3.5 percent and, in Carson City, 4.1 percent — just over 9,000 seeking work in Washoe and less than 1,000 jobless in the capital.

The good news, according to DETR Chief Economist Dave Schmidt, is that the labor force in Nevada — the number of people re-entering the market for work — grew by 5,300 individuals over the month.

In Churchill County, the rate was just 4 percent with 440 seeking work in a labor force of 10,998.

In Lyon County, 5 percent were looking for work in a labor force of 23,973. Some 1,204 were jobless in December.

Douglas County reported less than 1,000 seeking work in a pool of more than 21,000, a rate of 4.2 percent.

Job losses during December were concentrated in administrative support industries (down by 3,700 jobs) and by health care industries (down 1,800).

Annual job growth remains relatively high, according to Schmidt, but is moderating. He said the jobless rate is likely to remain above 5 percent in part because of workers re-entering the market to seek employment.

Current employment in Carson City is 31,700. That is an increase of 1.3 percent over the past year.

In Reno-Sparks, total employment is 263,000, up 3.7 percent over the past year.

Despite December’s decrease, total employment in the Las Vegas reporting area was listed at 1.08 million workers. That is up 4.2 percent over the year.

Total employment in Nevada was listed at just under 1.56 million for the month with an estimated 76,926 people looking for a job.


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