Posts Tagged ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics’

Nevada’s Broader Jobless Rate Remains Above 20 Percent

By Sean Whaley | 10:07 am October 26th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A broader measure of Nevada’s unemployment picture, including those who have given up looking for work, showed continued improvement through the third quarter of 2012 but remains above 20 percent, a federal report shows.

Called the U-6 rate, it declined in Nevada from 22.1 percent in the four quarters through June 2012 to 21.4 percent through September for a decline of seven-tenths of a percentage point, according to the quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U-6 rate is sometimes referred to as the “actual” jobless rate because it includes discouraged workers and those working part-time who would like to be in full-time jobs.

Nationally, the U-6 unemployment rate is 15 percent in the 12 months through September, down from 15.3 percent through June.

Nevada is now the only state with a U6 rate above 20 percent. California’s U6 rate dropped to 19.6 percent in the latest report, down from 20.3 percent through June.

North Dakota has the lowest rate at 6 percent.

Nevada’s U-6 rate compares to the state’s official September seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 11.8 percent reported last week by the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), which declined three-tenths of a percentage point from August.

Nevada continues to lead the nation in both measures of unemployment.

Nevada’s official jobless rate peaked at 14 percent in October 2010. The U-6 rate in Nevada for the 12 months of 2010 was 23.6 percent. The latest quarterly U6 report reflects a decline of 2.2 percentage points since then.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said last week when the September jobless report was released that he expects to see continued but modest improvement in the jobless numbers over the next few months.

“Nevada’s economy and our labor markets are on the mend,” he said.

Earlier this month, DETR also reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance fell in September to their lowest level in five years, dropping to under 14,000 in a month for the first time since September 2007.

The Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States shows six different jobless rates using different measures. The U-6 rate 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.

Broader Measure Of Unemployment In Nevada Shows Slight Improvement In First Quarter Of 2012

By Sean Whaley | 2:15 pm April 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A broader measure of Nevada’s unemployment picture, including those who have given up looking for work, showed slight but continued improvement through the first quarter of 2012, a federal report released today shows.

The rate in Nevada dropped from 22.7 percent in the four quarters through Dec. 31, 2011, to 22.3 percent through March 31, according to the quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The “U-6” rate is sometimes referred to as the “actual” jobless rate because it includes discouraged workers and those working part-time who would like to be in full-time jobs. It compares to the official 12 percent unemployment rate for Nevada for March reported last week by the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Nevada leads the nation in both measures of unemployment.

Photo by FEMA via Wikimedia Commons.

Nationally, the U-6 unemployment rate is 15.6 percent. The only other state with a rate above 20 percent is California, with a rate of 20.8 percent. North Dakota has the lowest rate at 6.3 percent.

The Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States shows six different jobless rates using different measures. The U-6 rate 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.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said there has been gradual improvement in both the official rate and the broader measure of unemployment although the state still has a long ways to go. The official jobless rate has fallen for seven straight months. The U-6 measure has declined in each of the last two quarters, he said.

“They have been on the mend, albeit relatively slowly,” Anderson said.

But Nevada’s unemployment rate remains a concern for policymakers, even as other economic indicators are showing improvement.

The state Department of Taxation reported yesterday that taxable sales surged in February by 10.2 percent over February 2011. The state Gaming Control Board reported strong wins for casinos in both January and February.

Anderson said personal income has been up for seven straight quarters as well.

“The one area where we don’t seem to be gaining a whole lot of traction of yet is in our labor markets,” he said. “We’re seeing some improvement but it’s been relatively slow going.”

The reasons are due largely to the lagging construction and public employee job sectors, Anderson said. The construction industry has lost about 100,000 jobs compared to the peak prior to the recession, and budget difficulties have led to declines in government employment, he said.

The public sector job losses are particularly noticeable at the local government level. The March jobless report shows there were 4,400 few local government jobs in March 2012 compared to March 2011. State government jobs were down 1,300 over the same period.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has made job creation a priority of his administration, and is pushing forward with an economic development plan to help create 50,000 new jobs in Nevada by the end of 2014.

-

Audio clips:

DETR economist Bill Anderson says Nevada’s jobless numbers are improving but it is slow going:

042712Anderson1 :35 the past year.”

Anderson says job creation is lagging behind other improving economic indicators:

042712Anderson2 :14 relatively slow going.”

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.”