Nevada Jobless Rate Climbs

By: Brendan Riley AP
By: Brendan Riley AP

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's unemployment rate rose to 9.4
percent in January, its highest level since August 1983, as nearly one out of every 10 Nevadans were out of work, according to a state report released Friday.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation report shows the seasonally adjusted rate was up from 8.4 percent in December - and also shows the state well above the national jobless
rate of 7.6 percent in January. About 143,600 Nevadans were out of
work while 1.2 million others held jobs .

A breakdown shows increases also occurred in the state's population centers, including the Las Vegas area at 10 percent, up from 8.7 percent. In the Reno area, the rate hit 11 percent in January, up from 8.8 percent in December.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said unemployment typically increases between December and January but added, "This year, that increase was stronger than normal ... exacerbated by current economic conditions as the recession's impacts continued to hit Nevada especially hard."

"Recessionary pressures appear to be unwinding some of the (job) growth experienced earlier this decade," Anderson added. "Nevada's employers scaled back jobs by nearly 60,000 in January from the same month a year ago."

Anderson also said Nevada led the nation in population growth for years, but the weakening economy has changed that. He noted that the state's population grew by less than 1 percent in 2008, while the average growth over the preceding 10 years was 4.3 percent.

For the Las Vegas area, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 10 percent was based on total employment in all industries of 913,800 people and a jobless total of 101,700.

The Reno area's 11 percent non-seasonally adjusted rate was based on total employment of 202,400 and a jobless total of 25,100.

Carson City-area unemployment increased from 9 percent to 11.1 percent between December and January. Employment in the area totaled about 26,400 and unemployment totaled about 3,300.

Unemployment in Elko and Eureka counties increased from 4.7 percent to 6.4 percent. There were 26,700 people working in the area during January and about 1,800 without jobs.

A month-to-month breakdown of hiring statewide by specific industries showed construction hiring was down 7,900; casino-related leisure and hospitality hiring was down 6,700; and hiring in the financial activities sector was down 1,100.

Government hiring was down 7,200, mainly due to holiday and semester breaks in schools; and there were 200 fewer jobs in professional business services; 200 fewer workers in education-health services; 700 fewer manufacturing jobs; 100 fewer mining jobs; and 100 fewer jobs in information services.

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