Nevada unemployment rate still highest in U.S. |

Nevada unemployment rate still highest in U.S.

At a record 14.4 percent, Nevada’s unemployment rate in August still was highest in the nation. Nationally, 9.6 percent of the workforce is idle.

The latest figure represents the seasonally adjusted rate. The unadjusted rate for the state actually went down two-tenths to 14.2 percent in August. The difference reflects the fact that seasonal hiring this summer tourist season was lower than normal.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the unadjusted rates improved slightly all across the state.

While private employers added 2,300 jobs, the public sector workforce lost 1,900 Census Bureau jobs and nearly 1,000 local government jobs.

The problem is worst in the Las Vegas area where 142,000 of the state’s 192,000 jobless live. Even though the unemployment rate there was 14.7 percent for August, that is a tenth lower than in July.

The jobless rate in Carson City fell a tenth to 13.1 percent in August. The Reno-Sparks rate went down three tenths to 13.3 percent.

Elko’s rate also went down three tenths, finishing the month at 7.7 percent.

Carson City’s total workforce fell 160 from July to 28,720.

Anderson said over the past month, more than 10,000 workers either left the state to find work or simply became too discouraged to continue looking for a job, shrinking the total labor force to 1.35 million. About 100 of those who left the labor force were from Carson City and 1,200 from Reno-Sparks.

Courtesy of a number of road and highway projects, the construction industry showed some signs of life in August, adding 700 jobs statewide. Professional and business services employers added 500 jobs.

Food and beverage services and accommodations added 700 more jobs, But that gain was offset by the loss of 700 jobs in the casino hotels and gaming.

But retail and wholesale trade categories continued to show improvement with 160,800 workers, up more than 3,700 since January.