At 13.2% the unemployment rate in Nevada is nearly twice what it was this time last year. Although the numbers are up, some say it may not be a direct reflection the number of people looking for work. “I think there are also some people who have been unemployed for some time who have depleted existing resources like savings and 401k and that kind of stuff, who are now filing,” says Emily Ellison of Hire Dynamics in Reno.
An estimated 183-thousand Nevadans are now looking for work. While unemployment is up, so is job growth. It's 6.7% for the state and 8.4% for the Reno/Sparks area. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the apparent conflict in the numbers is likely due to people who are already employed seeking second jobs to make up for cuts in wages and hours. Often those supplemental jobs are below or outside the jobseeker’s qualifications.
When will the numbers turn around? That remains to be seen, but Ellison says Hire Dynamics is experiencing an increase in demand from companies looking for temporary workers. “The work is there to be done, but the companies aren't sure how long the work will last,” she says. Agencies like Hire Dynamics tend to be a type of barometer for the job market. When they see an increase in the need for workers… the rest of the economy tends to follow. In the meantime, Nevada has requested more than $260 million in loans from the Federal Government to cover increasing unemployment claims through December 31st.