CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in January, down slightly from December but a full percentage point higher than the rate in January 2007, according to a report released Monday.
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation report shows the seasonally adjusted rate was down from 5.8 in December - the first decline in 10 months. The latest rate in Nevada compared with a national rate of 4.9 percent.
Bill Anderson, the agency's chief economist, said the construction industry continued to lose jobs in January, retail employment fell as the holiday shopping season ended, and state government employment was down due to winter breaks at universities and colleges.
Total employment in all industries was just under 1.3 million in January. About 82,200 Nevadans were unemployed during the month.
"The Nevada economy will continue to face challenges in 2008," Anderson said. "Housing market problems are proving to be more
persistent than expected, and an end is not yet in sight."
For the Las Vegas area, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent between December and January. There were about 923,900 people working in the area and
the jobless total was 55,700.
The Reno area saw non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increase from 5.4 percent to 6.6 percent in the same period. Employment totaled 216,200, and about 15,200 people were out of work.
Carson City-area unemployment increased from 6.1 percent to 7.5 percent between December and January. Employment in the area totaled about 26,800 and unemployment totaled about 2,200.
Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties increased from 4.2 percent to 4.6 percent from month to month. There were 26,900 people working in the area during January and about 1,300 without jobs.
A month-to-month breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed a decrease of 4,700 retail employees; 5,600 fewer workers in government; 2,800 fewer employees in casino-related leisure and hospital hiring, 400 fewer workers in education-health services; and 900 fewer employees in professional business services.
Transportation-warehousing-utilities was down 800; manufacturing and information service hiring held steady; mining was down 100; and financial activities hiring was down 1,200.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)