Nevada Unemployment Hits 4.9 Percent in July

By  | 

Nevada's unemployment rate rose for the fourth consecutive month, hitting 4.9 percent in July as a housing slump continued and private-sector employers weren't able to provide a lot of temporary summer jobs.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that the seasonally adjusted rate was the highest
since January 2004, and exceeded the national rate of 4.6 percent.

Larry Mosley, the department director, remained confident, saying, "The near-term ride may be bumpy, but Nevada's economy has shown resilience in the past and will in the future."

Bill Anderson, the agency's chief economist, said government hiring had its usual July decline as schools closed, and the temporary hiring industry couldn't provide enough work to offset that decline.

"When the economy is expanding rapidly and labor markets are tight, employers often have to hire temporary workers to meet demand," Anderson said. "That clearly is no longer the case, as employment in the (temporary help) industry is back to its early-2005 level."

Overall employment in Nevada has increased by 1.7 percent over the past year, but Anderson said that's the lowest growth rate in Nevada since September 2002.

The agency noted about 24,000 single-family homes are on the market in southern Nevada, and permits for new homes in both Reno and Las Vegas are down about 50 percent. Fewer than 1,000 housing units were permitted in July in the Las Vegas area - the first time that's happened since January 1993.

Total employment in all industries was about 1.3 million in July. There were about 68,600 unemployed Nevadans in July, up from 63,200 jobless people a month earlier.

For the Las Vegas area, non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increased from 4.7 percent to 5.1 percent between June and July.
There were about 919,100 people working in the area and the jobless
total was 49,800.

The Reno area saw non-seasonally adjusted unemployment increase
from 4.4 percent to 4.6 percent in the same period. Employment totaled 219,900, and about 10,500 people were out of work.

Carson City-area unemployment increased from 5 percent to 5.2 percent between June and July. Employment in the area totaled about
27,200 and unemployment totaled about 1,500.

Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties increased from 3.6 percent to 3.8 percent from month to month. There were 26,400 people working in the area during July and about 1,000 without jobs.

A breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed a month-to-month decrease of 7,700 workers in government; 500 fewer
workers in construction; about 300 more employees in the leisure-hospitality industry, which includes hotel-casinos; and 800 fewer employees in education and health service hiring.

There was a decrease of about 300 retail employees; a drop of 2,600 workers in professional business services; and no change in transportation-warehousing-utilities.

Mining was up 100 while manufacturing held steady. Information service hiring was down 100; and financial activities hiring also was down 100.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)