Unemployment rate holds steady

With more than 1.1 million people employed in Nevada, and 50,500 looking for work, the head of Nevada's Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation said the raw unemployment rate held steady in September at 4.1 percent. That is the same as it was one year ago, but a point higher than the 4 percent reported in August.

Birgit Baker said the number of jobs in Nevada grew by more than 14,000 in September, but most of that increase can be attributed to the start of the school year.

She pointed out 4,900 of those jobs were growth in the private sector.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said he was pleased the state continues to grow economically.

"But we must cautiously watch for the effects of rising fuel costs during the coming months," he said.

Experts fear rising fuel costs could not only cut down the number of tourists driving to Reno, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, they could drive up airfares and reduce visitation further.

In Carson City, unemployment was 4.4 percent in September - up one-tenth over both August and September 2004. Total employment is now listed at 26,100.

Reno reported 3.8 percent of the workforce out of a job - about 8,000 out of 213,500. That percentage is up three-tenths from a year ago but only slightly higher than August.

The Las Vegas-Paradise reporting area saw unemployment increase two-tenths from August. But the 4.2 percent rate is the same as it was a year ago with 837,200 employed and 35,300 out of work.

Finally, Elko reported 3.8 percent unemployment, down one-tenth from August but three- tenths higher than September 2004. The total labor force there is 24,000 with about 900 of them seeking work.

Third quarter rural county data showed eight counties with slight increases in unemployment over the past year. They are Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine. Eureka, Humboldt, and Nye counties showed no change over the year while Esmeralda, Lander, and Lincoln counties posted a decline in unemployment.

- Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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