CARSON CITY — The unemployment in Reno-Sparks and the Las Vegas metropolitan area fell in September while the state’s overall jobless rate remained at 13.4 percent, a sign to many that the market has begun to steady.
“This month, it appears the unemployment rate is stabilizing and that job growth is outpacing job losses,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “While this is a good sign for our economy, we must continue to look for ways to spur job creation and offer job retraining to Nevada’s workforce.”
In Reno-Sparks, the unemployment rate dipped four-tenths of a percent to 12.6 percent. The jobless rate in Las Vegas fell to 13.6 percent last month from 14.3 percent in August. The declines come after three consecutive months of increases.
“While employers in the Silver State added 10,000 jobs, most were seasonal in nature,” Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), said in a statement. “When you account for seasonality, employers added 1,800 new jobs. This month’s labor market readings reinforce recent trends, which have shown signs of stabilization and improvement in some areas. A number of economic indicators have trended positive this year, particularly in relation to the tourism industry. Those improvements are finally starting to translate into new jobs in some sectors.”
In September, 10,000 jobs were created in Nevada on a non-seasonal basis. On an over-the-year basis, jobs levels are up 7,000 or 0.6 percent. Adjusting for seasonality, there was still a healthy gain of 1,800 new jobs relative to August. Job levels in the state’s metro areas increased in a similar manner. Las Vegas area employers added 9,600 jobs in September. Over the year, employment is up 8,000 jobs, a 1 percent increase. The job picture in the Reno-Sparks and Carson City areas continues to disappoint. In Reno-Sparks, employers added 700 jobs, while on an over-the-year basis employment is still down 3,100 positions or 1.6 percent. In the Carson City area, job levels were down 100 in September and are down 500 or 1.7 percent from the same month a year ago.
In recent months, the construction industry has shown some signs of life. In September, the industry added employment for the fifth consecutive month. The addition of 1,600 new jobs pushed September’s employment estimate 200 jobs higher than the same month last year. It marks the first time in nearly five years that the construction industry posted an over-the-year increase.
“While the general focus of our analysis is on ‘net’ employment figures, there is considerable labor market ‘churn’ beneath the surface with hires and separations,” Anderson said. “New hires, a sub-section of all hires, peaked at around 325,000 in mid-2005. Since then, they declined steadily to approximately 150,000, though recent data show preliminary signs of a pick-up in activity. New hires in the most recent quarter available are up 16,020, a healthy 9.3 percent increase.”
This month, DETR’s Research and Analysis Bureau began tracking a new economic indicator, business entity formations, which are compiled by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. New formations are comprised of both domestic and foreign entities forming or registering in the state. As an indicator, new formations provide directional insight into business confidence and investment. A brief review of the statistics reveals improvement in the last year. Through the first three quarters of this year, filings are up more than 10 percent. The economic environment for business formation appears to be improving, according to DETR officials, but the state still has a ways to go before it reaches pre-recession activity. Despite strong growth this year, formations in 2011 are still down 28 percent from a pre- recession peak of 63,400 reached in 2006.