CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's unemployment rate rose to 7.3
percent in September, its highest level in 23 years, as more than 102,000 Nevadans were out of work, according to a report released
The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation report shows the seasonally adjusted rate was up from 7.1 percent in August - and also shows Nevada above the national jobless rate of 6.1 percent in September.
Bill Anderson, chief economist for the agency, said rates in the state's population centers also increased, led by the Las Vegas area at 7.4 percent, up from 7.1 percent. In the Reno area, the rate hit 6.9 percent in September, up from 6.6 percent in August.
Anderson expects Nevada's statewide rate to get worse, averaging about 8.6 percent for 2009. That means about 120,000 people out of
work. He also noted the number of Nevadans filing for unemployment
is the highest since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Nevada's economy depends heavily on industries that have been hit hardest by the economic downturn, including housing, construction and tourism. Two massive casino construction projects on the Las Vegas Strip have stalled. The state continues to lead the nation in rates of foreclosure.
The downturn has forced state and local governments to make massive cuts in services, and has some looking for new sources of
tax revenue - something that Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has opposed.
For the Las Vegas area, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.4 percent was based on total employment in all industries of 924,100 people and a jobless total of 74,200.
The Reno area's 6.9 percent non-seasonally adjusted rate was based on total employment of 221,700 and a jobless total of 16,300.
Carson City-area unemployment increased from 6.8 percent to 7.3 percent between August and September. Employment in the area totaled about 32,500 and unemployment totaled about 2,200.
Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties increased from 4 percent to 4.1 percent from month to month. There were 28,700 people working in the area during September and about 1,200 without jobs.
A month-to-month breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed an increase of 9,100 workers in government as schools reopened; 800 more workers in education-health services; no change in mining jobs; and 300 fewer manufacturing jobs.
There were 1,200 fewer workers in professional business services; 2,200 fewer in construction; and 1,000 fewer employees in casino-related leisure and hospitality hiring.
Hiring was up 400 in transportation-warehousing-utilities; down 300 in information services; and down 200 in the financial activities sector.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)