New unemployment claims at five-year low |

New unemployment claims at five-year low

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

New unemployment claims reached a five-year low in September, falling below 14,000 for the first time since September 2007.

But Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, pointed out that September is typically the low point in initial claims each year.

“So this one month is not enough, by itself, to establish a new trend,” he said.

But he said the news is encouraging.

“As Nevada has been recovering from the 2007 recession, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has been steadily falling when compared to the prior year, registering a decline in 33 of the past 34 months.”

Since the peak of the job losses in late 2008, Anderson said initial claims fell by nearly 20 percent in 2010, then slowed.

But he said in recent months, the rate of decline in initial claims has begun to increase, averaging 9.7 percent in the past five months.

“Particularly, this tells us that the number of people losing their jobs continues to fall, an important step to establishing steady growth in employment overall,” he said.

Even so, Anderson said the rate of employment growth is likely to remain slower than what Nevada was accustomed to before the recession.