Unemployment rate continues recovery | NevadaAppeal.com

Unemployment rate continues recovery

Geoff Dornan, Appeal Capitol Bureau

The jobless rate for Carson City and surrounding area dropped to 6.4 percent in March from 7.2 percent the previous month.

Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties had 3,810 people without jobs out of 59,100 in the workforce. The rate in March 2001 was 5.5 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate continued to recover in March, falling three tenths of a percent to 5.8.

That translates to fewer than 60,000 Nevadans out of work.

The seasonally adjusted rate is more than a percent lower than the 6.9 percent reported out of work in December.

Nevada’s unadjusted rate of 5.7 percent is the same as the national rate for March. But in contrast to Nevada, the national unemployment rate is up two tenths of a percent.

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Gov. Kenny Guinn described it as “a recovery in progress.” He said the tourism industry is pulling out of its post-Sept. 11 decline and other major economic indicators for the state are also improving.

In Reno, which traditionally has the state’s lowest jobless rate, there were an estimated 9,300 without jobs out of 186,000 in the workforce. That is 5 percent — down a half-percent from the previous month but still a percent higher than March of 2001.

Nevada’s economic numbers were positive but already below projections for most of the year when the terrorist attacks occurred, sending the tourism business into a severe slump. Almost immediately after the attacks, the resorts in Las Vegas laid off nearly 12,000 people, driving unemployment numbers higher than they had been in years.

Myla Florence, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said despite the national recession, the state’s population growth is helping hold up the housing market as well as retail trade, health services and other population dependent industries.

“These industries kept Nevada’s annual job growth in positive territory even during the difficult fourth quarter of 2001,” she said.

The biggest share of March’s recovery came from the Las Vegas area where unemployment fell six tenths of a percent during the month. The resort industry returned more than 1,400 people to work during the month. Altogether, service industries increased employment more than 2,700 from February to March.

Governmental agencies in the state also added about 1,000 workers during the month.