Government Jobs Up in Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Federal, state and local government employers in Nevada have added a modest 300 jobs in the first three
months of 2008, bucking a trend seen nationally.

Total government employment in Nevada in March was 163,100, compared with 162,800 government workers in December, according to
state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation statistics. The change represents an increase of less than two-tenths of 1 percent.

Nevada, where the state and its local governments are dealing with revenue shortfalls, doesn't appear to be part of a nationwide government hiring boom. Nationally, governments added 76,800 jobs
in the first three months of 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics.

While overall Nevada government employment might not be growing
rapidly this year, it has increased as overall employment declined, the state statistics show. Overall in Nevada in 2008, the number of jobs has declined a little more than 1 percent.

Jim Shabi, an economist with the state Employment Department, said growth in government jobs is due largely to the hiring of more teachers to accommodate growing public school and higher education enrollments.

"Yes, government employment is growing faster than overall employment," he said. "Most of that growth is in local government, and most of that very likely is growth in the local school districts."

The numbers for the first three months of the year show a decline in federal government jobs in Nevada, from 17,000 in December to 16,600 jobs in March.

For the state, where budget woes led to a job freeze for all but critical positions, there's also a slight decline. There were 38,800 state jobs in December and 38,400 jobs in March.

At the local government level, there were 107,000 such jobs in December statewide. That increased to 108,100 jobs in March.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)