Unemployment rate down to 12.5 percent
Nevada’s unemployment rate fell again in April – the fourth consecutive month of declines.
The seasonally adjusted rate dropped from 13.2 percent to 12.5 percent. The raw, unadjusted rate fell to 11.9 percent. Those numbers compare with a rate of 14.9 percent in April 2010.
Both Reno/Sparks and the Carson City reporting area saw their rates decline to 11.7 percent.
Las Vegas still was the problem area with a raw rate of 12.1 percent.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the decrease is a combination of a slowly improving economy and contraction of the labor force as workers continue to leave the state or simply stop looking for work.
Anderson described it as “a tepid economic recovery.”
“On the downside, the labor force continued to drop, adding to the roughly 44,000 who exited the workforce in the last 12 months,” he said.
On the positive side, he said the state is beginning to align with national trends which are seeing improvement. The gap between the national rate and Nevada’s unemployment was 5.5 percent in December. Now it’s down to 3.5 percent.
The totals, Anderson said, show Nevada businesses added about 3,600 new jobs during the month. While that is a solid improvement over the past couple of years, he said it is just half the 7,100 new jobs the state averaged over the past 10 years.
The addition of 4,600 jobs in hotel-casinos, motels, restaurants and bars more than offset the 2,100 lost jobs in the construction industry, 700 lost in financial services and 1,200 lost in the wholesale industry.
In Carson City, the rate fell 1.5 percent from March through April. Of the 27,500 in the capital labor force, 3,200 were looking for work. Reno/Sparks saw a 1.4 percent reduction with 25,000 of 214,400 looking for a job.
In Churchill County, the rate dropped to just 10 percent unemployment – 1.2 percent lower than in March. There are 1,280 out of work in a labor force of 12,830.
Douglas remains higher than most reporting areas at 13.3 percent, but that’s 1.6 percent less than the 14.9 percent unemployment rate there in March.
Lyon County remains highest in unemployment numbers at 16.4 percent. That, however, is significantly better than the 18.6 percent rate there in March.
Still the lowest rate in the state is Elko where the mining boom has kept unemployment in single digits throughout the recession. The rate fell a percent to 6.9 percent over the month.