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Food services help drive northern Nevada job growth

By Kristen Hackbarth

Nevada saw its tenth consecutive month of gains in employment in February, but has a way to go before it can claim a full recovery.

According to data released Thursday by DETR, northern Nevada had the strongest gains statewide since January, adding 3,300 jobs in Reno (a 1.4% gain) and 600 in Carson City (a 2% gain).

Food services helped to drive employment in February, growing jobs in the sector by 4.5% over the past month. Those gains coincided with Gov. Steve Sisolak lifting some pandemic restrictions, including increasing the capacity limit on food and beverage establishments to 35% by mid-month. Allowable capacities were set to increase again, to 50%, by mid-March.

State and local governments also saw some job growth locally, about 3.7%, but that increase coincides with seasonal shifts in employment levels.

“Broadly, the trend in February remains largely flat, and is similar to what we saw in January, with ongoing significant disruption highly concentrated in the Las Vegas area,” said David Schmidt, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

However, the expansion of vaccine eligibility to the general population was encouraging news, he added.

Overall, DETR said job levels reflect an annual decline of 10.6% from February 2020 to February 2021—about 153,500 jobs. Statewide unemployment is about 8.3%, largely impacted by job losses in southern Nevada. Reno’s unemployment levels were closer to 4.8% in January–still above last year’s 3.4% before the pandemic hit.

More information on Nevada’s employment and unemployment data is available online at http://nevadaworkforce.com/.

Source: DETR

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