Nevada job growth leads nation for third straight year |

Nevada job growth leads nation for third straight year

Nevada’s rate of job growth led the nation in 2005 for the third straight year and the 10th time in the past 16 years.

Total employment increased 4 percent from December 2004 through the end of 2005 to 1,187,100.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said the state’s economy created more than 63,000 new private sector jobs in what he described as an outstanding year.

“And despite the usual seasonal slowdown in several employment sectors, the state’s strong economy is creating enough new jobs to push the jobless rate down,” he said.

Overall, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate went down two-tenths of a percent over the year to 3.8 percent. That is significantly less than the 4.9 percent rate nationally and California’s 5.2 percent unemployment rate.

Terry Johnson, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said he expects 2006 to be another good year for the state, even though he predicted the job creation rate may slow.

Carson City’s non-adjusted unemployment rate was also down from last December by five-tenths to 4.1 percent. The total labor force in the capital city remained about the same at more than 27,000.

The Reno-Sparks and Las Vegas areas each reported 3.5 percent of the workforce looking for jobs.

A total of 205,500 people were employed in Washoe and Storey counties at year’s end and 847,600 in Clark County.

The Elko area reported 3.8 percent unemployment at year’s end, with 22,400 employed in Elko and Eureka counties.

Unemployment percentages were higher in some rural areas. Unemployment edged up in Douglas, Lander, Lyon, Pershing and White Pine counties and stayed about the same in Churchill, Mineral and Nye.

In rural Nevada, only Esmeralda, Humboldt and Lincoln showed a drop in unemployment rates.

Statewide, the top job producers were the leisure-hospitality and construction fields. Tourism-related businesses added 15,900 jobs during the year, and construction added some 15,200 new jobs.

After that, professional and business services companies added 11,200 new jobs, with trade, transportation and utilities increasing employment by 7,500.

Federal, state and local governments added 5,200 more workers during the year.

— Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.

Nevada job growth

County Dec. 2004 Dec. 2005

Carson City 4.4% 4.3%

Churchill 4% 4%

Lyon 4.7% 5%

Douglas 3.9% 4.1%

Storey 3.1% 4.5%