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Nevada’s jobless rate holds steady at 13.4 percent in October


Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau: Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 13.4 percent in October, the third consecutive month the jobless number has held steady, a state agency reported today.

An estimated 176,400 Nevadans were looking for work, according to the monthly report from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Photo courtesy of Jay from Cudahy via Flickr.

While the statewide rate held steady, the jobless rate in the metropolitan areas declined, from 13.6 percent to 13.1 percent in Las Vegas, from 12.6 percent to 12.1 percent in the Reno-Sparks area, and from 12.4 percent to 12 percent in Carson City. The rates for these areas are not adjusted for seasonality.

The unemployment rate in the Elko micropolitan area, encompassing Elko and Eureka counties, reached its lowest level this year, checking in at 6.7 percent.

The national rate fell to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in September.

“This month’s unemployment numbers demonstrate growth in key industries and certain areas, and the overall stability is a sign that job losses may have come to an end,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “The numbers prove that we must continue our efforts to fight back from this recession job by job and company by company. There is a role for each one of us to help get Nevada working again.”

While the rate of unemployment held steady in October, employers posted another small increase in employment. Nevada’s employers added 400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Nevada’s employment and unemployment picture continued to show signs of economic stability with some modest improvement in October,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. “Overall, there are some positives in this month’s numbers, but for a state looking to bounce back from a deep recession, the numbers leave considerable room for improvement.”

On the positive side, the leisure and hospitality industry added 3,200 jobs. The increase adds to recent improvement in the last year. Since October 2010, leisure and hospitality employers have increased payrolls by 14,700, a 4.7 percent increase. The education and health services sector continues to shine with the addition of 1,400 jobs in October, and employment is up a robust 5.8 percent since the same month last year. The gain pushed total employment in the sector to 106,300 workers, setting a new all time high. Lastly, the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,400 positions in October, most of them in retail and transportation and warehousing, but employment remains slightly below year-ago levels.

Anderson said he would characterize the October report overall as “decent”.

“We continue to see signs of stabilization, and now, more and more, we’re starting to see signs of outright improvement,” he said.

“For the coming year, Nevada can expect employment to see modest growth,” Anderson said. “We can reasonably predict the unemployment rate to experience moderate fluctuations and even make some improvement. As it stands, we do expect 2012 to be better for Nevada’s economy than 2011.”

Audio clips:

DETR Economist Bill Anderson says the October report overall is decent:

112111Anderson1 :21 the public sector.”

Anderson says Nevada still has a long ways to go, however:

112111Anderson2 :18 out of this.”

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