Unemployment in Nevada at 25-year low | NevadaAppeal.com

Unemployment in Nevada at 25-year low

BRENDAN RILEY

Nevada’s unemployment rate dropped from an already low 3.9 percent in September to 3.6 percent in October – the state’s lowest rate in more than 25 years.

The seasonally adjusted rate compare with a national average of 5.5 percent and a 5.7 percent rate in neighboring California, according to a report Friday from the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

While Gov. Kenny Guinn hailed the data as “a clear message about the strength of Nevada’s economy,” a separate report Friday from the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank, raised concerns about the state’s job growth.

The state report shows the number of employed Nevadans increased by about 9,500 between September and October, to 1.16 million. And the current total is up about 54,400 over the job count in October 2003.

The state report also shows the number of out-of-work Nevadans dropped by 5,600, from about 45,900 in September to 40,300 in October.

The job numbers are up but the EPI report says they don’t meet the growth projections made last year by the Bush administration, which figured on growth of about 103,000 since June 2003. Instead, the institute said the increase since then has been about 76,400.

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The EPI report also says that job growth in Nevada since the start of the 2001 recession has been 9.4 percent – but that’s lower than the working-age population growth of 11.2 percent in the state.

The state report says that during October the Las Vegas metropolitan statistical area, including Nye County and Mohave County in Arizona, had a nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.5 percent, down from 4 percent in October.

The Reno area’s nonseasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped from 3.1 percent to 2.8 percent in the same period.

In the Carson City market area, including Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, October unemployment was reported at 3.8 percent, down from 4.2 percent in September.

The Elko labor market area, which includes Elko and Eureka counties, reported unemployment at 3.1 percent, down from 3.4 percent in September.

A breakdown of hiring by specific industries showed a month-to-month drop of about 1,900 jobs in the casino-related leisure and hospitality industry; while government hiring jumped by about 3,900 and professional business services hiring was up 2,300.

Construction was up 1,500 jobs; mining held steady; information-telecommunications was down 100; manufacturing was up 300; and education and health services hiring was up 100.