Douglas County unemployment continued its downhill slide for 2013, posting 11.1 percent for March, down from 11.5 percent in February, according to figures released Friday by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
The number of jobless dropped 110 to 2,300, while the number of jobs decreased 80 to 18,510. The labor force is at its lowest level of the year so far. The portion of jobless Douglas County residents started the year at 11.8 percent, with total employment of 18,400 people.
The first quarter of 2013 saw an average unemployment rate of 11.5 percent, down from 13.3 percent for the first quarter of 2012.
There were more than 1,000 fewer workers in Douglas during the first quarter of 2013 than in the first quarter of 2012.
Statewide unemployment rose from 9.6 percent in February to 9.7 percent in March.
Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Chief Economist Bill Anderson said nonagricultural employment in Nevada declined by an estimated 2,900 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in March, which follows a revised loss of 4,100 jobs in February. Typically, March nonfarm job levels expand by about 7,300 relative to the prior month.
“So far this year, job growth appears to be slowing a bit after exceeding expectations in the second half of 2012,” Anderson said. “Still, year-over-year comparisons show Nevada growing at a 2.3 percent rate, or 25,500 jobs, relative to the first three months of last year. Despite the decline in non-farm payroll jobs and a slight increase in the unemployment rate, nearly all over-the-year comparisons are evidence of an ongoing mild recovery in Nevada’s labor market.”
The slight increase in the statewide jobless rate means Nevada’s recovery remains fragile, Gov. Brian Sandoval said.
“Nevada’s economy has been improving, and overall, I’m pleased with the general direction of the state’s labor market,” Sandoval said. “So far this year unemployment is down roughly two percent, and preliminary estimates show that we have created 25,000 more jobs to date than we had at this point last year. However, the slight uptick in the jobless rate in March underscores that our recovery remains fragile and we must continue our efforts to strengthen and diversify our state’s economy.”