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Business: Reno-area unemployment drops again


Unemployment in the Reno area continues to drop. The state’s Department of Unemployment, Rehabilitation and Training today issued a news release showing the labor market in Nevada continues to recover from pandemic levels, which had the Silver State seeing unprecedented unemployment.

Today, however, unemployment is at 4.4% for the third month in a row.

“In all counties the unemployment rate decreased from August to September 2022,” the state report shows.

Here in Reno, unemployment is 3.1% in September, a decrease from 3.5% in August and down from 3.2% in September 2021.

Reno's unemployment rate. Source: State of Nevada.
Reno’s unemployment rate. Source: State of Nevada.

Those numbers are below the lows of the mid-2000s and far below the nearly 15% unemployment rate seen during the Great Recession and the peak of nearly 20% unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The number of unemployed individuals decreased by 924 since August 2022 for a current level of 8,127 people, which is 52 more unemployed people than in September 2021,” the report notes.

White Pine County in eastern Nevada had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4% while Clark and Nye counties both show a greater than 5% rate of unemployment.

Despite the positive employment numbers, however, many of those jobs don’t pay enough.

A research fact sheet published earlier this year by UNLV’s Lincy Institute found that the majority of people employed in top occupations in Nevada can’t afford to pay rent.

“The top occupation in the Reno-Sparks area, as categorized by [the Bureau of Labor Statistics], is ‘Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand,’ a job held by 10,410 people and that comes with a median annual salary of $34,540. But the yearly income workers need to earn in Reno to afford a studio [apartment] is $37,040,” according to reporting by the Nevada Current.

“Fast food and counter workers – held by 4,950 people in Reno and 21,920 in Las Vegas – earn the least of the top 10 occupations making an annual median of $20,840 in Reno and $21,810 in Las Vegas,” the Current added.

More business headlines

More business news below.


Business news briefs

UNR, battery company highlighted by Biden. President Joe Biden announced last week the American Battery Materials Initiative and American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) is one of the 20 manufacturing and processing companies receiving grant awards to support the continued development of production, processing, recycling and manufacturing of battery materials in the U.S. The University of Nevada, Reno hosts ABTC’s research operations. UNR President Brian Sandoval said: “American Battery Technology Company is demonstrating tremendous leadership in the development of technologies and a new energy economy on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. Through the creation of jobs and internships, they are giving new experiences to our students and contributing to the preparedness and diversity of our future scientists and the nation.”

Dolan Auto Group announced the winners of this year’s Dolan Class Project and 15 classrooms will each receive $5,000, and one deserving school will receive $25,000.

School Category Winner – $25,000, Sarah Winnemucca Elementary School

Classroom Category Winners – $5,000 each

  1. 8th Grade Ceramics at Pau Wa Lu Middle School 
  2. Children’s Theater Program of Little Flower Catholic School 
  3. The Library at Katherine Dunn Elementary
  4. The LTI Commonwealth Program
  5. Whitney Vaughan’s 2nd Grade at Coral Academy of Science
  6. The Library at Galena High School 
  7. Middle School Choir at Depoali Middle School
  8. The VC Silver Circuits High School Club
  9. The Comprehensive Life Skills (CLS) class at Fremont Elementary School
  10. Beginning Theatre Arts Program at Carson High School 
  11. General Music K-5th Grade at Diedrichsen Elementary School
  12. Disc Golf Club at Wooster High School
  13. Miss Sciarani’s 1st Grade Class at Yerington Elementary School
  14. Galena High School’s JROTC
  15. Debate class at Carson High School 

Greater Nevada expands banking support to cannabis-related businesses. Greater Nevada Credit Union is supporting cannabis-related businesses through its banking offerings. GNCU made the decision to offer these services in an attempt to cater to the underserved industry, remove cash as a barrier for CRBs and is doing so in-line with legal and regulatory guidelines. “Due to the current federal legal climate, Nevada’s cannabis-related businesses were effectively cut off from full access to the banking system. That situation created a variety of serious safety and security issues for those business owners, their employees, customers, and others with whom they conduct their business,” said Wally Murray, GNCU president and CEO. 

Sisolak, legislature create $100 million water infrastructure program. Lawmakers last week approved a slew of programs put forward by Gov. Steve Sisolak aimed at fortifying Nevada’s water infrastructure, improving the quality of life for Nevadans and modernizing state systems to better serve residents. “[The] meeting was the culmination of our nearly two-year mission to put Nevada’s share of federal dollars to their highest and best use, including addressing the state’s water issues head on, modernizing government to dramatically improve customer experience, and making significant investments in affordable housing, critical services for seniors, and mental health care. These investments are the very foundation for the Nevada of the future,” said Assemblyman Steve Yeager. 

Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada and Lotus Radio are partnering for Stuff-A-Bus. The partners are asking the community to donate items such as new warm clothes, food for the St. Vincent’s Food Pantry and toys for children in need. “We are thrilled to partner with Lotus Radio stations to collect warm winter items for our underserved populations in our community as we know our neighbors will need to get them through the next few cold months,” said Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada’s CEO, Marie Baxter. Those wishing to donate to Stuff-A-Bus can deliver items such as new winter clothes: coats, jackets, hats, beanies, gloves and pajamas for kids in need. The event is at the Atlantis Casino Resort between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 2 and 3 and 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4. 

The Shoppes Atlantis opens as new retail space. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is inviting guests to discover The Shoppes Atlantis, the resort’s new and luxurious shopping center, featuring three distinct outlets. The Luxury Shoppe will showcase designer

handbags, fine jewelry, status watches and sunglasses from popular brands such as Versace, Valentino, Coach, Michael Kors, and Maui Jim. “The opening of The Shoppes Atlantis marks another proud achievement for our award-winning property,” said Cheraz Ecker, general manager of the Atlantis.

56 companies honored at EDAWN industry awards event. The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and guests celebrated the success and contributions of existing companies in the greater Reno-Sparks area at the 10th Annual Existing Industry Awards Event last week. The following companies, from Washoe County, Storey County, Reno, Sparks and Fernley, as well as local nonprofits, were recognized for their contributions.

  • Tech Innovation: HORIBA Instruments, Inc.
  • Philanthropy Hero – Small: River City Logistics, Inc.
  • Philanthropy Hero – Large: NOW Foods
  • Employees First-Small: PK Electrical
  • Employees First-Large: Elemental LED
  • Small But Mighty: Rowdy, LLC
  • Leader in Sustainability – Small: Outlaw Soaps, Inc.
  • Leader in Sustainability – Large: nZero
  • Manufacturing Excellence-Small: Halogen Systems, Inc.
  • Manufacturing Excellence-Large: Dragonfly Energy Corporation, Trex Company, Inc.
  • Engagement with Education: ITS Logistics
  • Community Partner: PBS Reno
  • Company of the Year-Small: Atlas Magnetics, Co.
  • Company of the Year-Large: Panasonic Energy of North America
  • President’s Award: Nevada Cares Campus
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Employment Director Elisa Cafferata announces resignation 

Elisa Cafferata, director of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced her resignation from the department this week effective Jan. 2, 2023.