Friday, July 17, 2009 | 7:17 a.m.
CARSON CITY – Unemployment soared in Clark County in June, with nearly 125,000 people out of work as the state continued on its record pace of unemployment.
The state report, released today, says the jobless rate in the Las Vegas area reached 12.3 percent in June, compared to 11.1 percent in the previous month.
There were 124,900 unemployed, compared to 62,500 in the same month of 2008 and 12,500 higher than in May this year.
For the second straight month, the state set a record in unemployment, rising to 12 percent with an estimated 169,800 jobless, nearly double the 87,300 of a year ago.
“Nevada is experiencing the backlash from slowed consumer spending and declining visitor volume,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
“High gas prices have a severe effect on tourism visitation numbers and could pose serious threats to an economic recovery going forward,” he said.
Employment in construction and in casinos and hotels in Clark County continued to fall in the month-to-month comparisons. The department said there were 76,700 workers in construction, down 700 from May and 19,000 lower than a year ago.
The numbers working in hotel-casinos dropped to 154,900 in June or 800 fewer than in May. A year ago there were 170,500 people working in this industry in June.
Employment in manufacturing dropped by 100 workers to 23,900 in June compared to May.
One bright spot was in trade, transportation and utilities where employment rose to 155,500, up 300 workers from May.
The department reported the jobless rate in the Reno-Sparks area increased from 11.1 percent to 11.8 percent in June with 26,800 unemployed. That compares with June 2008 when there were 14,500 jobless.
Unemployment in Carson City increased from 10.7 percent in May to 11.5 percent in June with 3,500 people out of work. The jobless rate in Elko and Eureka Counties rose from 5.9 percent in May to 6.6 percent in June.
Anderson said, “There is some sentiment that the U.S. economy may be near the bottom of the recession. Unfortunately May brought with it news suggesting that economic conditions in Nevada remain extremely weak.”
He said employment historically is a lagging indicator of the economy’s health.
“Hence, when a recovery does take hold in Nevada, labor market conditions will likely not respond immediately. This recession has hit the state extremely hard.”
He said only six states in April had a higher jobless rate and the May figures have not been released by all states.