Douglas unemployment remains flat in October |

Douglas unemployment remains flat in October

Staff Reports

Unemployment in Douglas County stayed the same in the month of October, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The unemployment rate came in at 11.4 percent – the same percentage as September. Both rates reflect the lowest unemployment in 2012.

In October the labor force in Douglas County shrunk slightly, from 21,650 workers in September to 21,400. Total unemployment went from 2,480 to 2,450 workers, while total employment went from 19,170 to 18,950.

December notwithstanding, the highest unemployment of the year hit in January at 14.8 percent. Since then, the rate has steadily declined. The average for the year to date is 12.7 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate for October dropped to a seasonally adjusted 11.5 percent, down from 11.8 percent in September.

“October’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate since May of 2009, a significant step for our state,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “While this news is welcome, our state’s unemployment rate remains at a high level and continues to indicate the need for sustained economic diversification and private sector job growth.”

In October, a gain of 2,500 new positions are typically expected relative to September, but preliminary estimates point to a gain of 4,700, said DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson. Seasonally adjusted, this is an increase of 2,200.

He reported that private sector job levels stand 1,200 higher than the prior month and 3,200 above year-ago readings. So far this year, private sector payrolls are up 11,100 compared to the first 10 months of 2011, based upon estimates from the monthly survey of businesses.

Public sector payrolls have shown signs of leveling off in recent months, following an extended downturn.

“All things considered, available information suggests that Nevada’s labor market has been on the mend since right around the beginning of 2011,” Anderson said. “One of the broadest barometers of economic well-being, average weekly wages, has followed suit. After two years of outright declines during the recession, wages have been trending up ever since. Despite some weakness in this year’s second quarter, through the first half of the year, wages are up 2.6 percent from the same six-month period in 2011. So far this year, wages have averaged $830 per week.”