Nevada Unemployment Hits 5.1 Percent In September

Nevada's unemployment rate rose for the sixth consecutive month, hitting 5.1 percent in September as a housing slump continued and growth in the state's labor pool outpaced job gains.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that the seasonally adjusted rate, up slightly from 5 percent in August, was the highest since October 2003, and exceeded the national rate of 4.7 percent in September.

Bill Anderson, the agency's chief economist, said the state's labor force increased by more than 17,000 between August and September and "the state's slowing economy could not absorb all the new workers."

Anderson added that hiring was down by 1,200 from month to month
in both the casino and construction industries, and those two industries have lost a combined 7,700 workers since September 2006.

Overall employment in Nevada has increased by just 1.3 percent over the past year.

While that adds up to more than 11,000 new jobs since September 2006, the growth rate is one of the lowest in several years.

Total employment in all industries was about 1.3 million in September.

About 69,400 Nevadans were unemployed during the month.

For the Las Vegas area, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased from 5 percent to 5.2 percent between August and September.

There were about 924,900 people working in the area and the jobless total was 50,600.

The Reno area saw non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increase
from 4.4 percent to 4.6 percent in the same period. Employment
totaled 221,700, and about 10,700 people were out of work.

Carson City-area unemployment increased from 5.1 percent to 5.3 percent between August and September. Employment in the area totaled about 27,000 and unemployment totaled about 1,500.

Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties increased from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent from month to month.

There were 26,500 people working in the area during September and about 1,000 without jobs.

While casino and construction hiring was down, a breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed a month-to-month increase of 9,700 workers in government, mainly due to schools reopening.

There were 1,000 more employees in education-health service hiring; 100 more retail employees; a decrease of 500 workers in professional business services; and 300 more workers in transportation-warehousing-utilities.

Mining was down 200 while manufacturing and information service hiring both were up 100; and financial activities hiring was down 100.