Unemployment numbers for the state of Nevada actually decreased a tenth of a percent in September figures released by the state Friday
But Employment, Training and Rehabilitation Director Myla Florence said those numbers don't reflect what has happened in the Las Vegas area, where thousands of workers have lost their jobs since Sept. 11.
"It's important to note that our economy was showing signs of weakening before that tragic day," she said.
Since the terrorist attacks, air traffic has dropped significantly in Las Vegas, which depends on airlines for more than half its tourist visitors. Some estimates are that upwards of 15,000 have lost jobs in the hotel-casinos and dependent businesses such as limousine services.
"The Reno, Lake Tahoe and Carson City tourism industry fared much better because northern destinations are not as heavily dependent upon air travel," said Florence.
September figures showed the adjusted statewide unemployment rate for September at 4.7 percent -- about 48,000 workers out of 1,042,400 in the state.
The rate for the Las Vegas area was 4.9 percent with 777,700 employed.
Florence said even though the unemployment rate is expected to increase sharply when October's report, there were several hopeful signs in other industries in September. She said there were signs of life in the gold mining industry which could help rural economies that rely heavily on mining. And she said several projects are expected to create new jobs by the end of October including the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas which will have some 2,500 employees.
The Carson City area, which includes Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties, reported 4.9 percent unemployment in September, and Elko the same.
The lowest rate for a reporting area was Washoe County, which had just 3.6 percent out of work in September.
All of Nevada's reporting areas were below the California unemployment rate for the month -- 5.4 percent. The national rate is 4.9 percent for that reporting period.