Las Vegas Sun

March 30, 2015

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Las Vegas jobless rate soars to 14.5 percent

State also sees spike in unemployment rate, at 14.2 percent

CARSON CITY – The unemployment rate in Nevada hit another high in June and the number of jobless in the Las Vegas area continued to climb.

The state Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation estimated the June statewide rate at 14.2 percent with an estimated 193,300 people jobless. It outpaced the national average of 9.5 percent, which fell from 9.7 percent in May.

The statewide unemployment rate was 13.8 percent in May.

In the Las Vegas area, the unemployment rate jumped to 14.5 percent, the highest of the state’s three metropolitan areas. There were an estimated 141,500 persons out of work in June compared to 138,000 in May.

The department said the Clark County unemployment rate in May was 14.1 percent. In the Las Vegas area, private employers added 3,700 but state and local governments shed 3,800 workers.

The division reported that construction employment rose in Clark County to 46,800, up 300 jobs from May. However, manufacturing employment fell to 20,100, down 100 jobs from the previous month.

Casino-hotels and gambling accounted for 154,500 jobs, the same as May.

The department said statewide figures for the construction industry showed an unexpected loss of 2,400 jobs. Employment in the trade, transportation and utilities segment increased by 1,800 jobs to 143,500.

Government employment fell to 96,800, down from May’s 100,600 in the Las Vegas area. The loss of government jobs statewide was tied to the end of the school year.

The temporary census hiring that fueled the previous increases in federal government employment has ended and the positions will disappear in the next couple of months.

The department said the unemployment rate in May in the Reno-Sparks area rose to 13.6 percent, up from 13.3 percent in May. Carson City’s rate inched up to 13.4 percent, compared to 13.2 percent in May.

The department said the drop in the national jobless rate is a good sign since Nevada’s economic picture is tied to the health of the country. An economic rebound is a prerequisite for improvement in Nevada, officials said.

“But with stimulus dollars running short and private employers thus far sitting on the sidelines, expectations for near-term economic growth have diminished somewhat of late,” the department said in a statement.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded to the jobless numbers this morning, saying “the efforts of this Congress have kept a bad situation from becoming worse,” but more work needed to be done.

“It took many years to dig us into this hole and we’re not going to get out of it overnight,” Reid said in a statement. “It’s why we passed Wall Street Reform, why we’re working on the small business jobs bill and why we’re going to extend unemployment insurance. We have a lot of work to do to restore Nevada’s economic vitality, but Nevadans are fighters and I will continue fighting with them until every Nevadan who wants a job has one.”

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