Unemployment Rises in March, But Governor Pleased with Recovery

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March unemployment in Nevada rose to 9.7 percent from 9.6 percent in February, according to a report from the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Responsibilities released today.

The report states that Reno/Sparks’ unemployment rate decreased to 10 percent from February’s 10.1 percent. Carson City, which has the highest rate of all of Nevada’s metro areas, dropped from 10.7 percent to 10.6 percent. Las Vegas, which was 11.7 percent a year ago, remained at 9.8 percent.

“The rise in unemployment rate ended 20 months of the rate either declining or holding steady,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR.

“Nevada’s economy has been improving and overall, I’m pleased with the general direction of the State’s labor market,” said Governor Brian Sandoval in a DETR press release.

“So far this year unemployment is down roughly two percent, “Sandoval said. “And preliminary estimates show that we have created 25,000 more jobs to date than we had at this point last year.”

But Sandoval cautions Nevadans, saying that Nevada’s recovery remains fragile and the state must continue its efforts to strengthen and diversify its economy.

“So far this year, job growth appears to be slowing a bit after exceeding expectations in the second half of 2012,” Anderson said. “Still, year-over-year comparisons show Nevada growing at a 2.3 percent rate, or 25,500 jobs, relative to the first three months of last year.”

Despite the decline in employment, Anderson remains positive.

“Nearly all over-the-year comparisons are evidence of an ongoing mild recovery in Nevada’s labor market.”