As the economy continued to show improvement, February saw another decline in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits.
Over each of the past 27 months, the level of new unemployment claims has fallen compared to the same month in the prior year. In February, there were 17,336 new claims for unemployment benefits compared to 17,980 in February 2011, a decline of less than 4 percent.
Taking into account the fact that February 2012 had an extra day compared to February 2011, this decline is comparable to the decline of 6 percent experienced in January and is the lowest decline over the past 27 months, said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
“New unemployment claims are a leading indicator for the overall level of employment in the economy and show that the number of people entering unemployment is falling, which points to an ongoing stabilization in Nevada’s labor market,” Anderson said.
The overall level of claims, while falling, is still noticeably higher than the level that would be consistent with a healthy labor market (10,000 to 12,000 new claims per month), so while the decline in new claims is an encouraging sign, the high level of claims overall reveals that Nevada still has a long road to full recovery.