Jobless ticks up in November but stabilizing
Even though unemployment rose a tenth in November, the chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says there are signs the state is stabilizing.
Both the seasonally adjusted rate and raw rate increased from October, the adjusted rate to 14.3 percent, the raw rate by three-tenths to 14 percent.
Carson City, however, saw a half percent increase in unemployment to 13.1 percent compared with October. While service industries in the capital were stable, manufacturing continued to contract, losing another 100 jobs.
Bill Anderson of DETR said the slight increase followed the first decline in Nevada unemployment in several years. He said, however, the rate has ranged from 14.2 percent to 14.4 percent for six months.
“The stabilizing unemployment rate indicates that the worst of the recession is over,” he said. “However, the unemployment rate will likely remain elevated well into 2011 before declining slowly over a number of years.”
The turn for the worse was fairly uniform throughout Nevada’s labor markets. Unemployment rose two tenths in Las Vegas, four tenths in the Reno-Sparks area and two tenths of a percent in the Elko area. However, Elko, buoyed by the continuing mining boom, was in the best shape with a rate of just 7.6 percent.
Statewide, employers shed 2,500 jobs in November. For the first time in 15 years, construction employment fell below 60,000 jobs in Nevada while manufacturing dropped 400 jobs statewide.
Anderson said another measure of economic weakness is the average private sector hours worked each week – which peaked at 37.6 in 2007. That average is down to 34.2 hours now but, for the first time in a year, that average rose a tiny bit in November. He said average weekly hours will recover as the state emerges from the recession, but until they do, there will be little demand for hiring.
Carson City finished November with a workforce of 28,300, 3,700 of whom are looking for work.
In Douglas, the rate was 14.8 percent with 3,310 jobless in a workforce of 22,330. That’s higher than any month since June when the Douglas rate was 5 percent.
Lyon remains the county with the highest percentage out of work – up three tenths to 17.5 percent in November. But that is lower than any month this year with the exception of October.