Nevada unemployment down statewide in 2013

Geoff Dornan

While Nevada’s labor market finished 2013 on a slightly sour note with unemployment up in Reno, Las Vegas and Carson City, state officials say it was a good year overall.

Unemployment declined in all 17 Nevada counties, averaging 9.4 percent over the year compared with 11.1 percent in 2012.

In addition, the seasonally adjusted statewide rate went down 0.2 percent to 8.8 percent in December.

But the raw unemployment rate, which doesn’t factor in such seasonal changes as the start of school or, in this case, holiday hiring, actually increased from 8.5 percent to 8.8 percent.

That increase was driven by a 0.3 percent rise in Las Vegas and a 0.2 percent increase in Reno. In Carson City, the rate rose by 0.3 percent to 9.3 percent as the year came to an end.

For Carson City, that comes to just more than 2,500 seeking work in a labor force of 27,400.

The seasonally adjusted rate is comparable to that in other states and national rates, but not to local rates within Nevada. Those rates are not adjusted.

A good share of the improvement during the course of the year can be attributed to the rebound by building activities and the increases in home prices in both north and south by more than 20 percent. Year-over-year increases in employment produced a net gain of 21,400 jobs in 2013.

The state has now added back 49,000 private-sector jobs since labor markets hit bottom in 2010.

There are still just about 120,000 people looking for work in a labor force of 1.36 million.

An additional 18,600 are jobless in Washoe County, but the lion’s share of the unemployed are in Southern Nevada — some 87,400.

Despite posting a significant improvement during the year, Lyon County continues to have the state’s highest unemployment rate at 13 percent. Lyon started the year with more than 15 percent of 17,300 workers jobless.

Churchill County finished 2013 with just 7.9 percent out of work. In a labor force of 12,770, that translates to just over 1,000 jobless. Churchill started 2013 with 1,160 seeking work — an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent.

Douglas County went from 11.8 percent to 10.2 percent or 2,160 out of work by year’s end.

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