State reports seasonal job gains
While the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was steady from August to September, the unadjusted rate fell a half percent to 13.3 percent statewide.
That improvement was driven by decreases in the number of jobless in Nevada’s urban areas.
The Carson City area showed a 0.3 percent improvement to 12.4 percent unemployment. The Reno-Sparks area saw a decrease of 0.4 percent to 12.6 percent, and the Las Vegas reporting area’s rate dropped from 14.3 to 13.6 percent.
“It appears the unemployment rate is stabilizing and that job growth is outpacing job losses,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Employers in Nevada added 10,000 jobs, but most were seasonal positions, according to Bill Anderson, economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. Removing that from the mix, he said, left a gain of 1,800 jobs from August to September.
Nearly all of the job growth was in the Las Vegas area. Reno-Sparks employers added just 700 jobs, compared to 9,600 in Las Vegas.
The Carson City area reported a decrease of 100 jobs for September.
Anderson said, however, that some economic indicators have been positive this year, particularly in the tourism industry. That industry has added 11,300 jobs over the past year.
“Those improvements are finally starting to translate into new jobs in some sectors,” he said.
He said seven of 11 major industry groups have more people employed than they did in September 2010, including construction, which has added jobs for five consecutive months. September was the first month in five years in which construction posted an increase over the same month of the previous year.
But Anderson said it’s still tooearly to call it a turning point for the industry.
Professional and business services, education and health services have also added jobs in the past year.
The picture in the public sector, however, is not as bright. The return of public education workers is a major reason for the seasonal change in total jobs every September, but year-over-year public-sector employment is down 5,100 jobs from a year ago, cutting deeply into the total 12,100 jobs the private sector has added in Nevada over the year.
Statewide, there are 1.12 million employed as of September, about 7,000 more than a year ago.
In Carson City, the number of employed is 28,500 – about 500 fewer than a year ago, and 100 fewer than August. The difference is a decrease in state workers.
While the total employed in Reno-Sparks went up from August, it’s still 3,100 less than a year ago at 187,900.
The total number of people employed in the Las Vegas reporting area was listed at 806,000. That is a significant improvement over August’s 796,400 and September 2010’s 798,000 total.
Fueled by the mining boom, Elko County continues to have the state’s lowest rate at 7.1 percent. That is 0.9 percent less than it was a year ago and 0.3 percent down from august.
Churchill County’s overall unemployment rate was 10.4 percent for September, an improvement over the 11.3 percent rate a year ago and the 11 percent reported for August.
In Douglas, the 13.8 percent unemployment rate is a full 1.5 percent less than it was a year ago. That county’s rate was 14 percent in August.
Finally, Lyon County, which has the highest unemployment rate in the state, was at 16.8 percent in September – 2 percent below what it was in September 2010 and a half-percent down from August.