Douglas County unemployment slightly less in October |

Douglas County unemployment slightly less in October

Staff Reports

The unemployment rate in Douglas County dropped slightly to 13.5 percent in the month of October, according to data released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The new rate is down from 13.8 percent in September and represents the third lowest rate of the year. In May, Douglas County hit a low of 13.3 percent unemployment, but that rate shot up to 14.3 percent in June.

In October, there were 20,920 people in the total labor force, with 18,100 employed and 2,820 unemployed.

For the year, the average unemployment rate in Douglas County now stands at 14.2 percent.

Statewide, Nevada’s unemployment rate remained at a seasonably adjusted 13.4 percent for October. For the third month in a row, the unemployment rate was unchanged with an estimated 176,400 Nevadans unemployed and looking for work.

In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate fell from 13.6 percent in September to 13.1 percent in October. In the Reno-Sparks area, the rate of joblessness also declined by one-half percentage point falling to 12.1 percent. In Carson City, the unemployment rate fell four-tenths, falling from 12.4 percent in September to 12.0 percent in October. The unemployment rate in the Elko micropolitan area (includes Elko and Eureka counties) reached its lowest level this year, checking in at 6.7 percent.

“This month’s unemployment numbers demonstrate growth in key industries and certain areas, and the overall stability is a sign that job losses may have come to an end,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval. “The numbers prove that we must continue our efforts to fight back from this recession job by job and company by company. There is a role for each one of us to help get Nevada working again.”

While the rate of unemployment held steady in October, employers posted another small increase in employment. Nevada’s employers added 400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, doing little, but enough to help stabilize the unemployment rate.

Employment fell in three of the eleven major industry categories from September. Construction industry employers cut the most, trimming payrolls by 2,500 in October, though a good portion of those were seasonal. On an over-the-year basis, construction employment is off by 2,800 or 4.7 percent. Small cut backs were also made in manufacturing and other services.

But there was some good news in October. Since the same month in 2010, leisure and hospitality employers have increased payrolls by 14,700, a 4.7 percent increase. The education and health services sector continues to shine with the addition of 1,400 jobs in October, and employment is up a robust 5.8 percent since the same month last year. The gain pushed total employment in the sector to 106,300 workers, setting a new all time high. Lastly, the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,400 positions in October, most of them in retail and transportation and warehousing, but employment remains slightly below year-ago levels.

“Nevada’s employment and unemployment picture continued to show signs of economic stability with some modest improvement in October,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. “Overall, there are some positives in this month’s numbers, but for a state looking to bounce back from a deep recession, the numbers leave considerable room for improvement. Looking forward, chances are that trends will be more similar to the modest gains recorded in the past few months than to the boom-like conditions from a half-decade, or so, ago.”