Douglas County’s jobless rate dropped to 10.1 percent in May, the lowest since December 2008, according to figures released by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation on Friday.
The number of jobless in the county dropped to 2,100, the lowest number this year, while the number of employed was 20,830. Douglas County, which for years had one of the highest unemployment rates in the state came in sixth in the state in May.
The rate is far lower than its peak of 15.7 percent in December 2010, when the number of unemployed was 2,300, with 21,940 working residents.
Most of that unemployment was the result of the collapse of the building industry.
“Cautious optimism in Nevada’s economy is attracting more people into the labor force as May marks the fourth consecutive month of expansion,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “The fact that our labor force is growing and the ranks of the unemployed are shrinking is a good indicator that Nevada is gaining momentum. The labor force grew by 1,100 with 2,200 people finding work and 1,100 people leaving unemployment in May.”
Anderson noted that in May, 113,000 more Nevadans are working full-time relative to the recessionary low. While a significant improvement, he said, this represents a gain of only half the full-time positions lost since pre-recession levels. The number of part-time jobs in Nevada is still trending near all-time highs, although they have leveled off and fallen a bit with the slow improvement in the economy and corresponding rebound in full-time positions, he added.
“I am pleased that May’s 9.5 percent unemployment rate marks the lowest rate in Nevada since 2008,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “May’s unemployment rate coupled with a decrease in initial unemployment insurance claims suggests that job losses in Nevada are easing. However, even though employment so far this year is nearly 25,000 jobs higher than a year ago, the pace of hiring activity remains cautious. While the decrease in the unemployment rate is encouraging, we must continue our work to diversify our economy and create new private sector jobs.”