Posts Tagged ‘Anderson’

Federal Jobless Report Shows Slight Improvement For Nevada Through Second Quarter

By Sean Whaley | 1:37 pm July 29th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s official jobless rate may have jumped three-tenths of a percentage point to 12.4 percent in June, but a broader measure of the state’s unemployment picture showed some slight improvement through the second quarter of this year.

The quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a state-by-state unemployment measure that encompasses discouraged workers and those who are working part time even though they would like full-time employment. When these individuals are counted, the unemployment rate is much higher than the official rate released each month nationally and by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Nevada again ranked worst among the states at 23.3 percent in the report, which covers 12 months of data through June 30, but the rate was a slight improvement from the 12 months through the first quarter when it was 23.7 percent.

California was again second at 21.8 percent. The national average was 16.3 percent.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said he is not surprised by the improvement shown in the report despite the uptick in the June jobs report.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the state Research and Analysis Bureau.

“Keep in mind that in each of the first five months of this year, our official unemployment rate declined from 14.9 percent in December down to 12.1 percent in May,” he said. “We did see a slight uptick, up to 12.4 percent in June, so this data, in that it looks backwards over the course of the 12-month period, is picking up that improvement.

“So it doesn’t surprise me at all that we saw this slight down tick in this measure of labor market health,” Anderson said.

The “Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States, Third Quarter of 2010 through Second Quarter of 2011 Averages,” shows six different jobless rates using different measures. The broadest definition, U-6, includes “discouraged workers,” defined as people who want work but who had not searched for work in the previous four weeks because they believed no jobs were available to them. It also includes “marginally attached” workers, defined as those who had not looked for work in the previous four weeks for any reason.

Finally the measure includes those employed part-time for economic reasons, defined as those working less than 35 hours per week who want to work full time, are available to do so, and gave an economic reason – their hours had been cut back or they were unable to find a full-time job – for working part time. These individuals are sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that this broader definition of unemployment is based on relatively small sample sizes at the state level.

Anderson said he believes the economy, both nationally and in Nevada, will move sideways for the time being.

“That’s certainly not good news, but it certainly represents an improvement over where we were just a year ago,” he said. “A year ago we had an unemployment rate of 14.9 percent. Now we’re at 12.4 percent. Still high but nonetheless better.”

The jobs picture is flat in Nevada over the past year, but that too is an improvement over mid-2009 when job losses were nearing 10 percent on a year-over-year basis, Anderson said.

“So again not outright growth but certainly better than where we were just a short time ago,” he said.

Audio clips:

State economist Bill Anderson says the improvement in the report corresponds with Nevada’s declining jobless rate over the past several months:

072911Anderson1 :29 up that improvement.”

Anderson says the down tick is not a surprise:

072911Anderson2 :09 labor market health.”

Anderson says Nevada’s unemployment rate remains high, but much improved over a year ago:

072911Anderson3 :18 but nonetheless better.”

 

Latest Federal Report On ‘Actual’ Jobless Rate Shows Employment Continues To Lag In Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 4:22 pm April 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment picture may be improving, even seeing some job growth in March, but a federal report measuring a broader spectrum of the state’s workforce continues to paint a much grimmer picture for those seeking work.

The report through March 2011 using a four-quarter moving average shows Nevada’s unemployment rate at 23.7 percent, highest in the nation. California is second at 22 percent. The national average is 16.5 percent. The report was released Friday.

The quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes a state-by-state unemployment measure that encompasses discouraged workers and those who are working part time even though they would like full-time employment.

In contrast, the March unemployment rate in Nevada reported by the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) was 13.2 percent, down from 13.6 percent in February. This official rate does not include discouraged and part-time workers.

Both numbers are estimates only.

The labor statistics report shows that Nevada’s broader unemployment rate actually worsened through the first quarter of 2011, up one-tenth of a percentage point from 23.6 percent in calendar year 2010.

By contrast, the national rate declined, from 16.7 percent in calendar year 2010 to 16.5 percent in the latest report. California’s rate also declined, from 22.1 percent in 2010 to 22 percent through March 31 of this year.

Bill Anderson, chief economist of DETR, said the minor change from the 2010 report to the first quarter of this year reflects more of a sideways movement than a further decline. The change is minimal, he said.

“I look at those numbers and I’m starting to see signs of stability,” Anderson said. “We’re starting to see outright improvement in our official unemployment rate, but looking at the broader measure it points towards stability – unfortunately stability at historically high levels of unemployment.”

The “Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States, Second Quarter of 2010 through First Quarter of 2011 Averages,” shows six different jobless rates using different measures. The broadest definition, U-6, includes “discouraged workers,” defined as people who want work but who had not searched for work in the previous four weeks because they believed no jobs were available to them. It also includes “marginally attached” workers, defined as those who had not looked for work in the previous four weeks for any reason.

Finally the measure includes those employed part-time for economic reasons, defined as those working less than 35 hours per week who want to work full time, are available to do so, and gave an economic reason – their hours had been cut back or they were unable to find a full-time job – for working part time. These individuals are sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the broader definition of unemployment is based on relatively small sample sizes at the state level.

Even so, DETR had this to say about the actual unemployment rate when it cited the figure in a release last year: “Use of the alternative measure of unemployment for research purposes is limited since the information is only available for the past five years, so comparisons to past recessions is not possible. But, from a policy perspective, the actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy.”

“Despite the historic run up in the unemployment rate, the reality of the recession’s impacts on Nevada’s workforce is much worse than presented,” the agency said in reporting the number in August.

Nevada’s March jobless report showed some cause for optimism on the jobs front, however, showing an increase in employment over March 2010, the first expansion in 38 months. Total nonfarm employment in the Las Vegas area increased by 10,100, and is up 0.5 percent from the same month last year. Employment in the Reno-Sparks area increased by a modest 600 jobs, while employment in Carson City was essentially unchanged, adding just 100 jobs. Both areas have slightly more jobs now than they did a year ago.

“Nevada’s labor markets showed signs of life in March, hinting at what may be the beginnings of an economic recovery,” Anderson said in announcing the latest official monthly jobs report earlier this month. “Employment increased on an over-the-year basis for the first time since January 2008, and results of the household survey showed a solid decline in unemployment.”

Anderson said he does not have data to indicate whether Nevada’s recent job growth is in part-time work, which would drive the actual employment rate as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics higher.

“That kind of information just simply isn’t available, at least in a ready format,” he said.

Audio clips:

DETR Economist Bill Anderson says the change in the quarterly actual unemployment rate is minimal:

042611Anderson1 :32 state’s labor market.”

Anderson says the number shows stability, although stability at historically high levels:

042611Anderson2 :21 levels of unemployment.”

Nevada Jobless Rate Leads Nation And Hits All Time State High In May

By Sean Whaley | 4:59 pm June 18th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s nation-leading 14 percent May unemployment rate announced today shows job losses are beginning to affect local governments after months of avoiding layoffs during a more than two-year long economic slowdown.

Nevada local governments have shed 5,600 jobs as of May this year compared to May 2009, a 5.3 percent reduction that far exceeds the 2.8 percent loss for all employment sectors over the same period, the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) reported.

A total of 300 local government jobs were lost from April to May. State government employment remained unchanged from April, and was up 400 jobs over the year.

Federal government employment has expanded due to the hiring of census workers, but those jobs are only expected to last for a few months.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said he expects to see the local government job losses continue. Once programs have been reduced and other cutbacks implemented, the last option for cost savings is personnel, he said.

Nevada’s 14 percent jobless rate was a new all-time high for the state and put it in first place nationally. The rate was a three-tenths of a percentage point increase over April’s number.

Nevada surpassed the former No. 1 state Michigan, which had been leading the nation in unemployment for 50 consecutive months.

“In just three years, Nevada’s economy has fallen from one of the strongest performing to possibly the weakest,” Anderson said.

The state will recover, but the recovery will see growth at a much more modest pace than the boom years, he said. That modest growth will be more sustainable, Anderson said.

“We’re just going to have to ride this out,” he said. “We rode the bubble up and we got up to a pretty lofty level but now we’re riding it down quite a ways.”

Audio clips:

Anderson on Nevada No. 1 in nation for unemployment

061810Anderson1 :14 of the recession.”

Anderson on Nevada’s economy

061810Anderson2 :7 arguably the weakest.”

Statewide Local Government Employment Rate Drops

By Sean Whaley | 2:32 pm May 24th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate keeps creeping upward despite signs the economic slowdown has hit bottom, and April statistics from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation show job losses are now being seen in the government employment sector as well.

Nevada’s record 13.7 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reported for the month of April equates to 193,000 people out of work, the agency reported Friday.

While the private sector was shedding jobs for more than two years in the downturn that officially began in December 2007, state and local government employment remained unaffected for much of that time.

But the April report shows that local government employment statewide has lost 5,500 jobs compared to April 2009 for a 5.2 percent decline. Local government employment totaled 100,900 in April 2010.

The 5.2 percent decline in local government jobs is greater than the 3.5 percent decline in jobs for all employment sectors statewide from April compared to April 2009, the report shows.

A number of county and city governments have eliminated positions and implemented layoffs due to declining tax revenues. The Las Vegas City Council last week approved a budget for the new fiscal year that will mean 200 layoffs.

State government employment actually grew slightly during that same period, by 400 jobs to 38,600. Federal government employment remained unchanged at 18,300, but grew by 600 jobs from March due to hiring for the census.

William Anderson, chief economist for the department, said the large decrease in local government employment is notable.

“Despite numerous wage concessions and other cutbacks, many local governments are being forced to lay off employees,” he said. “In the last year, local government employers shed 5,500 jobs, or 5.2 percent. Local government employment slid by 1,000 in April alone. Job losses will likely increase in the coming months as municipalities adjust to lower budgets set to begin July 1st.”

Anderson said the census hiring is temporarily offsetting some of the local government job losses.

The census work has provided work to a total of 1,150 workers, 460 of whom were added in April, he said. Census employment is expected to peak in May or June, and then begin to taper off into the fall.

Nevada actually added 2,500 jobs in April over March, but Anderson said the labor force has also increased every month this year as workers entered the job market either out of necessity or because of renewed optimism in potential job prospects.

“Construction remains one of the most discouraging sectors in the labor market,” Anderson said. “Construction employment has fallen to a level not seen since April 1995. Since the height of the housing boom in June to 2006, construction has fallen from 148,800 to 62,700, a loss of 86,100 jobs.”

Nevada’s October Jobless Rate Declines for First Time Since 2008

By Sean Whaley | 11:03 am November 20th, 2009
(Updated at 11:51 a.m. on Friday.)
 
CARSON CITY – Nevada received some rare good news on the economic front today as a state agency reported that in October, the state’s jobless rate declined three-tenths of a percentage point to 13 percent from September.

The reasons for the decline tempered the good news to some extent, however.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation attributed the lower seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to a decline in the state’s labor force and “some” stabilization in the employment situation.

Until today’s report, Nevada’s unemployment rate had risen, uninterrupted, since 2008.

“As we head into the holiday season, this is welcome news; however it is not a reason to be overly optimistic,” he said. “The state’s well chronicled economic difficulties are far from over. We expect the unemployment rate to continue to rise over time, but we are seeing some signs of stabilization.”

Anderson said the decline is due more to a stagnant or declining labor force than an improvement on the employment front.

“At best, October’s trends, coupled with a growing belief that national conditions are (tentatively) on the mend, suggest that the economy may be in the process of stabilizing, but at a level which will still result in continued hardships for many Nevadans,” he said.

Gov. Jim Gibbons said in a statement he believes the drop in the rate is only temporary.The jobs report said there were 175,300 state residents officially counted as unemployed in October.

“The decline in unemployment has not been followed by an increase in the employment base,” he said. “Clearly the federal stimulus dollars have been better at retaining existing jobs rather than creating new jobs.”

Gibbons said unemployment rates are expected to rise during the month of November and again in December when the completion of several Las Vegas Strip construction projects including City Center will result in a significant loss in construction jobs.

“My office continues to receive reports from businesses who regretfully must implement additional employee layoffs,” Gibbons said. “We are working diligently on all fronts to bring new businesses to Nevada and to develop a new renewable energy industry in Nevada to create green jobs. I will continue to fight for new jobs for Nevadans.”

 

Although the unemployment rate actually increased by four-tenths of a percentage point at the national level in October (to 10.2 percent, seasonally adjusted), it is still 2.8 percentage points lower than in Nevada. Nevada’s October reading is up from 7.7 percent in October 2008.

Within the state, the unemployment rate fell approximately one full percentage point relative to September in each of Nevada’s metropolitan areas. The rates in the metropolitan areas are not seasonally adjusted.

Las Vegas’ unemployment rate came in at 13 percent in October, down from 13.9 percent in September. In the Reno-Sparks region, the jobless rate settled at 12.2 percent for the month, down from 13.1 percent.

“Economic conditions in the near-term are likely to be quite volatile, with some months (such as October) being better than others, while in some months we will likely take a step back,” Anderson said.

All told in October, there were 1.18 million jobs in Nevada public and private sector establishments, essentially unchanged from the previous month. However, measured relative to a year ago, payrolls in Nevada have been cut by 75,100 jobs, a six percent decline. October job readings in 2009 are nearly identical to those from the same month in 2004, suggesting that that the current economic downturn has erased five years of expansion, Anderson noted.

The construction sector’s difficulties are well-documented. Statewide job levels peaked at close to 150,000 in mid-2006. October 2009 job levels came to just 83,700.

The state’s largest employer, the leisure and hospitality sector, continues to struggle. An additional 2,000 jobs were cut relative to September. At 307,700, October job readings were down by nearly 20,000 relative to a year ago.