Nevada unemployment up again in October |

Nevada unemployment up again in October

Nevada’s unemployment rate rose for the sixth straight month in October to 7.4 percent, its highest point since May 1985.

It is more than a percent above the national rate of 6.5 percent and four-tenths of a percent higher than September.

When seasonally adjusted, the state rate rises to 7.6 percent.

Carson City’s unemployment rate also was 7.4 percent, with 2,200 of 29,800 in the workforce idled.

The rate was higher in Las Vegas, where 7.5 percent, or 76,400, were job hunting. In Reno-Sparks the rate was 7.2 percent ” 15,600 unemployed.

Bill Anderson, economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the job market will be tough on those looking for a temporary job this year.

“Looking at the current evidence, it seems clear that seasonal hiring will be significantly lower than what we have seen in years past,” he said.

He said last year’s seasonal hiring drove an increase of 3.3 percent in added jobs. This year, he projected, the increase would only be 2.6 percent, which equates to about 3,600 holiday jobs, 1,000 fewer than in 2007.

“With the highest unemployment rate we’ve seen this decade, competition for those 3,600 jobs will be extremely fierce,” he said.

Construction is still the hardest hit industry. October construction jobs were down 15,000 compared to a year ago. The 329 housing permits issued this October is 80 percent less than the same month a year ago.

Although the state grew by 240,000 jobs between 2002 and 2007, Anderson said, 6,700 of them went away over the past year.

Deputy DETR Director Cynthia Jones said the department is mailing about 40,000 unemployment checks every week ” an 80 percent increase from a year ago.

The Elko area, still buoyed by the mining boom, was in the best shape with just 4.1 percent out of work ” 1,200 out of 29,900 in the labor force.

– Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.