Friday, Aug. 20, 2004 | 11:14 a.m.
CARSON CITY -- Unemployment inched up to 4.4 percent in Nevada in July, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than June, the state reported today.
But Nevada's rate was 1.1 percentage points lower than the national rate, the state Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department said.
Gov. Kenny Guinn said, "The slight rise in Nevada's unemployment rate seems to be temporary, because the underlying economy remains strong."
He said there were 6,000 jobs created in July and more than 10,000 in the past two months in the business community. "Nevada has produced jobs at a rate that is four times higher than the national average since July 2003."
Total employment in the state in July reached 1,146,700, up 5 percent from a year ago.
Department Director Birgit Baker said, "The rise in unemployment is due primarily to the end of the school and college academic year and the influx of students into the labor market." She said the labor force increased by more than 26,000 since May "and not all of the prospective workers could be absorbed that quickly."
The department said the jobless rate in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical area that includes Clark and Nye counties and Mohave County in Arizona was 4.6 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point from June but 1.2 percentage point lower than a year ago. There were an estimated 43,700 people out of work compared with 42,700 in June.
Total employment in the Las Vegas area reached 913,400 in July, up 5.7 percent from a year ago.
The department said statewide 113,200 people were working in the construction industry, up 10.7 percent from a year ago; manufacturing grew 4.3 percent to 45,700 jobs; employment in casinos and hotels reported 208,400 employed, up 0.5 percent and trade, transportation and utilities gained 4 percent to 201,800 employed.
Government employment statewide rose 2.5 percent to 130,000; education and health services were up 5.6 percent to 78,900 jobs and professional and business services registered a 7.1 percent gain to 128,600 on the job.
The breakdown in the Las Vegas area employment showed a growth of 10 percent in construction to 90,100 workers; casinos and hotels had 168,200 employed, up 1.4 percent; manufacturing increased by 5.9 percent to 26,900 and trade, transportation and utilities reported 151,300 workers, up 4.6 percent from a year ago.
The department said government employment in the Las Vegas market rose 1.3 percent to 85,500 jobs; education and health services were up 6.1 percent to 59,300 and professional and business services jumped 5.8 percent to 97,900.
Unemployment in Washoe County stood at 3.8 percent, the same as in June but six-tenths of a percentage point lower than a year ago.
The department said the jobless rate in the Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties labor market was 4.9 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from June and 1 percentage point lower than July a year ago.
Elko and Eureka counties reported unemployment at 4.1 percent, unchanged from June and 1.1 percentage point lower than a year ago.