Nevada rate of unemployment flat in February
Statewide, Nevada’s unemployment rate was pretty much flat in February at a seasonally adjusted 7.1 percent.
Seasonal adjustments are designed to take into account such things as the influx of students seeking work when school is out or the ramp up of retail hiring in the Christmas season.
The raw rate, not seasonally adjusted, actually fell four-tenths of a percent to 7.2 percent from January to February.
Churchill County reported a four-tenths decrease in the unemployment rate in February to 7.3 percent with just 770 looking for employment out of 10,480 workers. That’s significantly better than the 8 percent jobless rate there a year ago.
Lyon County is one of just two Nevada reporting areas that remains in the double digits at 10.1 percent. But that’s well below the 12.8 percent reported a year ago.
The other county area in double digits for unemployment is Mineral with a rate of 11.2 percent.
Carson City saw a similar drop in unemployment from 8.5 percent to 8.1 percent in February. That’s significantly lower than the 10 percent unemployment in the capital in Feb., 2014 and reflects a slight increase in hiring by state government, which has so far lagged behind private industry in the recovery from the recession.
In Carson, some 2,000 were seeking employment in a labor force of 25,100.
Reno-Sparks also showed some improvement, dropping three tenths from January to 7.1 percent. That translates to 16,000 out of work in a labor force of 226,200.
In both of those reporting areas, however, there was a slight increase in the number of people reported as part of the labor force, an indication some who had previously given up looking for work were now returning to the job market. That increase was only about 100 in Carson City but nearly 3,000 in Reno-Sparks, which could be an indication of interest in coming Tesla jobs.
The Las Vegas metropolitan reporting area also reported improvement, reducing unemployment by three-tenths to 7.2 percent and growing the labor force by nearly 2,500. But there still are nearly 74,000 looking for work in the south.
According to Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, private sector employment actually grew by 2,100 over the month.
Construction led the state in percentage growth, up 5.3 percent or 3,200 jobs compared to a year ago.
Over the past year, the state has added 36,900 jobs and February is the 50th straight month of year-over-year increases in total employment.
Douglas County’s rate fell a half percent compared to January to 7.5 percent. That’s more than 2 percent lower than the 9.9 percent rate reported in Feb., 2014 with just 1,680 looking for work out of 22,230 in the labor force.