Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 | 10:43 a.m.
The state's jobless rate increased to 9.1 percent in December, a full percentage point rise from the 8.1 percent rate in November, the Nevada Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Department said.
Holiday hiring was weak in Nevada, with retail payrolls increasing by 3,200, or 2.3 percent.
By comparison, from 1997 to 2007, holiday hiring averaged 5,800 employees, or 4.7 percent
The last time the unemployment rate was this high was in October 1983 when the rate was 9.0 percent and the country was recovering from a recession.
In the week of Jan. 17, about 78,000 people collected unemployment benefits.
“Nevada’s economic conditions took a turn for the worse in the final months of 2008, and the deterioration was particularly evident in December,” Bill Anderson, chief economist for the state's employment department, said in a statement. “All told, roughly 128,000 Nevadans found themselves looking for work in December."
There were 36,000 initial unemployment claims made in December, a 113.5 percent year-over-year increase, he said.
For the past 10 months, employment has been declining when compared with the same month the year before, Anderson said.
This March could mark the first time in 26 years that jobs declined on an annual basis, he said.