Seasonal layoffs push Nevada’s unemployment up
Pushed by seasonal layoffs that follow the Christmas season, Nevada’s unemployment rate rose nearly a percent to 13.7 percent in January.
Seasonally adjusted, which takes those layoffs into account, the rate remained the same as it was in December – 13 percent. But any way it’s counted, it still means there are 187,700 Nevadans looking for work.
Bill Anderson, economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said that translates to a reduction of 25,300 jobs by Nevada employers. That is just over half the 40,300 jobs employers eliminated in January 2009.
“This year’s job loss is more in line with typical seasonal layoffs,” Anderson said.
In the Carson City area, the rate was 13.8 percent for the month – a full percent higher than December. There are about 4,000 Carson residents actively seeking work in a labor pool of 28,980.
Statewide, most of the layoffs came from elimination of an estimated 4,600 temporary positions filled by retailers during the Christmas season.
State government employment also dropped, a 5,100 worker reduction caused primarily by the break between the university system’s fall and spring semesters.
Construction also was down by 3,200 jobs, normal in January because of the weather.
Anderson said a review of the Current Employment Statistics Program shows that Nevada lost a total of 115,100 jobs from the end of 2008 to the end of 2009. As of the end of January, the total labor force in the state was 1.37 million.
He said the reduction is disproportionately affecting male workers. For the 12 months ending in January, the male unemployment rate was 13.4 percent while the female unemployment rate was 9.4 percent.
Also disproportionately hit are the state’s Hispanic workers, who are facing a 17 percent unemployment rate compared to 11.4 percent for white workers.
The unemployment rate in the Reno reporting area was 13.5 percent for January with 30,700 of 987,500 looking for work. It was 13.8 percent in Las Vegas with 135,900 jobless.
Douglas County, with 22,810 in the labor pool, had a 14.8 percent unemployment rate in January with 3,380 looking for work. Storey County, with a labor force of 2,470, reported 350 seeking employment – a 14.1 percent jobless rate.
Lyon County continues to be among the hardest hit reporting areas in the state with 19.1 percent of 23,340 jobless – 4,470 in all.