Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Ryan Tells Sparks Crowd Nation Needs New Leadership

By Sean Whaley | 2:55 pm September 7th, 2012

SPARKS – Fresh on the heels of another disappointing jobs report, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a brief rally here today, telling a crowd of 2,500 at a local small business that President Obama needs to be replaced to get the country back on track.

“Are we going to stick with four more years of the same, of the same path? No,” Ryan said at the campaign event held at Peterbilt Truck Parts and Equipment. “Are we going to have a country in debt, in doubt, in decline? Or are we going to do what we need to do to get people back to work, to fix the mess in Washington, and to get this country back on the right track.”

Paul Ryan fires up the crowd at a rally today in Sparks. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

It was Ryan’s first visit to Northern Nevada as Mitt Romney’s running mate. Romney is expected  back in Reno on Tuesday for a National Guard convention.

President Obama is slated to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans fight to win the battleground state in the Nov. 6 general election.

Ryan wasted no time in bringing up the jobs report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor that showed the country saw only 96,000 jobs created in August, well below the 125,000 gain expected by Wall Street. The unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July but the drop was attributed to more people giving up looking for work.

“Today, for every person that got a job, nearly four people stopped looking for a job; they gave up,” he said. “We can’t keep doing this. Our economy needs to create just 150,000 jobs every month just to keep up with the growth of  our population.

“Friends, this is not an economic recovery; this is nowhere close to an economic recovery,” Ryan said. “We need a new president and we need a real economic recovery.”

Obama promised to keep unemployment below 8 percent with the stimulus package passed early on in his term, he said.

Instead, it’s been above 8 percent for 43 months and in Nevada it is 12 percent, Ryan said.

“It’s not working, and we have a plan to fix this,” he said.

In a statement from the White House on the report, Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said: “While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.  It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”

Ryan told the Sparks crowd that when Republicans win in November, the Romney-Ryan administration will move to immediately develop the country’s energy resources to create jobs, including building the Keystone pipeline, Ryan said.

The administration will also provide opportunities for those looking for work to learn new skills to find jobs, and will seek to increase manufacturing and agricultural production, he said.

The administration will also work to bring spending under control and bring an end to deficit spending, Ryan said.

“We have got to get this budget under control or else we will wind up just like Europe,” he said. “If you practice European economics you will get European results.”

Finally, the administration will work to help small businesses succeed and create jobs, Ryan said.

Romney will bring a history of successful business experience to the White House, he said.

If Nevadans support the Republican ticket, “we will turn this thing around,” Ryan said.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., who is locked in a battle with U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., for the senate seat, used Ryan’s visit to criticize Heller for supporting his budget plan, which includes a proposed change to the Medicare system for younger Americans.

Ryan’s plan would keep Medicare in place for people 55 or older but change it for others by privatizing it and relying on government subsidies.

“The Heller-Ryan-Romney plan essentially ends Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies, and under the plan, seniors’ premiums would increase by nearly $6,400 and they would pay more in prescription drug costs,” Berkley said in a statement.

Heller welcomed Ryan to Nevada in a statement issued by his campaign.

“Paul Ryan is the vice presidential pick who can lead this country in a substantive discussion about the most pressing issues of the day,” he said. “When many in Washington wanted to play politics and preserve their own political ambitions, Paul Ryan faced head-on the enormous challenge of bringing our nation’s fiscal house in order. This conversation is long overdue, and I look forward to more of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney’s leadership moving forward.”


Audio clips:

Paul Ryan says the country needs new leadership to turn the economy around:

090712Ryan1 :22 the right track.”

Ryan says today’s jobs report shows there is no economic recovery under way:

090712Ryan2 :32 real economic recovery”


Nevada Taxable Sales Show Gains In August

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 10:31 am October 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s economy continued to show some signs of improvement in August, with taxable sales rising by 5.7 percent over August 2010, a report released today shows.

The report from the Nevada Department of Taxation also shows a 5.2 percent increase in taxable sales in the first two months of fiscal year 2012 that began July 1.

Clark County posted a 3.5 percent increase, while Washoe County showed a 2.1 percent gain.

Major categories showing increases in August included motor vehicle and parts dealers, up 11.4 percent; food and beverage stores, up 4.1 percent; furniture and home furnishings, up 9.4 percent, and bars and restaurants, up 5.7 percent.

But the construction industry continued to lag in the report, showing a 5 percent decline in taxable sales compared to August 2010. General merchandise stores were also down, by 0.6 percent.

Purse shopping. / Photo: Ben Schumin via Wikimedia Commons.

Fifteen of 17 Nevada counties reported an increase in taxable sales in August. Only Lincoln and Lyon counties reported year-over-year declines.

The state general fund share of the taxes generated from taxable sales is about $1.5 million above the forecast for the first two months of the fiscal year.

Moody’s Downgrades Nevada’s Credit Rating

By Andrew Doughman | 2:09 pm March 24th, 2011

Despite upgrading Nevada’s outlook from negative to stable, the credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded Nevada’s credit rating to Aa2 from Aa1.

The rationale behind the adjustment involves Nevada’s Legislature. Moody’s cited the two-thirds supermajority required to raise taxes as a negative in Nevada.

The Moody’s report released today notes that the potential need to renew the temporary tax increases passed during 2009 could create a challenge for the Legislature.

The governor has said he does not want to extend those tax increases.

“Also, a two-thirds majority of each house of the Legislature is required to renew the taxes into the 2012-2013 biennium and beyond,” writes Moody’s analyst Julius Vizner. “The supermajority requirement to raise taxes presents a hurdle to achieving balance on an ongoing basis going forward.”

The report also notes that Nevada’s economy is largely dependent on discretionary spending in the gaming and tourism industries.

According to the report, Nevada’s revenue base lacks diversity. The state depends too much on revenues from sales tax and gaming revenues. An economic recovery in Nevada could stall if either of those revenue sources falter.

On the positive side, Moody’s analysts note that Gov. Brian Sandoval has the will to make budget cuts.

The report also noted that Nevada has a relatively low debt burden at $2.4 billion and, as the Nevada News Bureau has reported before, the outlook for funding Nevada’s pension system is bright.

Nevada’s declining home prices, however, stymie economic growth.

The collapse of the housing bubble has ratcheted property values down, which presents challenges to lawmakers crafting the state’s budget.

Today, financial officers at Nevada’s school districts testified before a legislative committee about declining property tax collections.

Nonetheless, Moody’s cited upticks in gaming revenues as a sign of a nascent economic recovery.

“The stable outlook reflects our expectation that the economy will recover slowly in the state and that the state’s finances will be weak in the next biennium,” Vizner wrote.

According to Moody’s, Nevada’s credit rating could bounce back if it diversifies its economy and tax base while growing its economy as a whole.

Likewise, Moody’s indicated that it would further downgrade Nevada’s rating should the Legislature delay implementing reforms to the state’s tax base.

Nevada’s credit rating might further erode if it does not cut spending if revenue collections fall short of projections.

Nevada will receive a formal revenue forecast on May 1, which will be crucial for legislators as they piece together the state budget for the next two years.



State Treasurer Says General Fund Cash On Hand Is Up

By Sean Whaley | 4:51 pm April 1st, 2010

CARSON CITY – State Treasurer Kate Marshall said today she sees some evidence to suggest that Nevada’s economy has stabilized, although that stability remains “tenuous” and “fragile.”

Marshall, in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, cited a rebound in state general fund cash on hand as evidence of that stabilization.

About this time in 2007 when the state economy was healthy, Marshall said there was $1 billion in cash on hand in the general fund on average. When the recession hit beginning in December 2007, that average daily balance began a slow and steady decline, hitting a low of $300 million in the fall of 2009.

Since January, the daily cash on hand has begun to rise, reaching about $436 million currently.

In a telephone interview, Marshall said the rise in the daily balance is likely due to a combination of reduced state spending and increased tax revenue collections.

The upswing it not such that Marshall said she can draw any clear conclusions or make any predictions about the health of Nevada’s economy. The balance is still low and the turnaround is recent, she said.

What the upswing does mean is an improved comfort level, Marshall said. If the cash on hand had declined to $200 million, that would sound an alarm bell about the state’s financial health, she said.

“I feel good about it, but it is a tempered good,” Marshall said.

Governor Gibbons’ Statement on His Two Top Priorities

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:07 am March 16th, 2010

Jim Gibbons on Nevada’s economy, just now:

“I have two main priorities:  jobs and tourism. And I am busting my butt to get something done. I have tasked my cabinet with finding out why people and/or jobs are going to other states and not coming to us. I am asking for a monthly report on which companies are looking at our state and why they are, or are not, choosing Nevada.”

Ok, but I would think (hope) this kind of prioritizing, researching and reporting would have been ongoing for the past, oh, two years as well. Since that is about how long the state’s economy has been in a death spiral…

Talked to a spokesperson in the governor’s office about that new blue-ribbon education panel, too.  Will post on that shortly.

State Budget Town Halls

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:25 pm February 13th, 2010

We are live Tweeting the two state budget town hall meetings.  To follow and catch up on this morning’s Tweets, follow  Phillip Moyer, our intern, is Tweeting from Reno using the hashtag #renoth.  I’m Tweeting in Vegas using #lvth.

Heller Says Federal Stimulus Funds Not Helping Economy

By Sean Whaley | 3:44 pm November 12th, 2009

CARSON CITY – Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said today the federal stimulus program is not working because it is creating short-term public jobs, not sustainable private sector employment.

In an appearance on the Nevada NewsMakers program, Heller said only six percent of the stimulus funds went to roads and bridges where private sector jobs are actually created.

“If that would have been in the 50 to 60 percent range that would have gone to roads and bridges I’d have been more apt to have supported it,” he said of the stimulus bill. “But to know it just went to a bunch of pork projects out there and earmarks, to me I knew it was not going to be a program that was going to actually stimulate this economy.”

The state and national unemployment rates have continued to rise during the stimulus funding effort, even though the Obama Administration said the rate would level off at eight percent with the program, Heller said.

That is why Heller said he did not support the stimulus funding even though it has brought money to northern Nevada, including $2 million for the V&T Railroad reconstruction project from Virginia City to Carson City.

Heller said his choice to stimulate the economy would have been to cut the payroll tax in half across the country.

“Let’s be competitive in this country,” he said. “Our corporate taxes in this country are so uncompetitive. That’s where I would start, is try to make our country as competitive as other countries around the world.”

Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Up Slightly in September

By Sean Whaley | 11:56 am October 19th, 2009

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s jobless rate rose one tenth of a percentage point in September from August to 13.3 percent, a state agency reported today.

The month-over-month increase in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was the smallest since March 2008, while the employment gain was the strongest since February 2007. Nevada employers added 11,000 jobs in September from the previous month.

The federal, state and local government job sector saw one of the biggest jumps in job growth due primarily to the start up of the school year, adding 9,800 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the loss of 1,000 jobs. Professional and business services added 2,800 jobs. Construction lost 3,600 jobs.

“The deterioration in Nevada’s labor market eased a bit in September, but we will have to wait to see how future months unfold before we can conclude that the recession’s grip on the state’s economy is lessening,” said William Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation. “Still, it is best not to get overly optimistic based upon information for just one month. Nationwide, the unemployment rate came in at 9.8 percent in September, considerably below Nevada’s reading.”

The total number of unemployed Nevadans remains worrisomely high at 190,700, up by nearly 85,000 relative to a year ago.

“Similarly, job readings are off by 76,500 over the 12-month period,” Anderson said. “The bottom line is that once the economy does begin to recover, which it will, there is much ground to be made up.”

In the Las Vegas metro area, September’s unemployment rate came in at 13.9 percent, up from 7.7 percent a year ago.

Unemployment rates for the state’s metropolitan areas are not adjusted for seasonality. For comparison purposes, the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 13.5 percent in September.

Job levels in Las Vegas stand 56,300 below year-ago readings.

In the Reno-Sparks region, September’s employment count stands nearly 17,000 below a year ago. The unemployment rate, at 13.1 percent, is up markedly from a year ago, when it was 7.3 percent.

Carson City’s unemployment rate was estimated to be 12.8 percent in September, and payrolls were down nearly 2,000 relative to a year ago. In September 2008, the region’s unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.

Anderson said all industries within the state have felt the effects of the economic downturn, but none more so than construction. Construction benefited greatly from a booming economy, as building-related employment in Nevada increased by 48,000 between 1997 and 2007.

However, since then, 50,000 jobs have been lost, he said. Elsewhere, the leisure and hospitality industry added 77,300 jobs during the ten-year period ending in 2007.

However, within the past two years 30,000 jobs have been eliminated.

“The much-anticipated opening of the City Center Project in Las Vegas should help ease job losses in the months ahead, but for the industry as a whole the negatives continue to outweigh the positives,” Anderson said.

Both the professional and business services and trade/transportation/utilities sectors added in excess of 70,000 jobs during the economic boom. Since then, the former has cut nearly 15,000 positions, while the latter has cut payrolls by nearly 8,000.

Perhaps the earliest signs of the approaching recession showed up in residential real estate and construction activity beginning in approximately mid-2006. Arguably, one bright spot of late has to do with increases in resale activity. For instance, sales of existing homes have been on the upswing in southern Nevada since mid-2008. So far this year, resale activity has increased by more than 50 percent. However, on the flipside, a considerable portion of that increase in activity is attributable to distressed properties.

In addition to the City Center opening on the horizon, another event that, historically, has had a positive impact on the Nevada labor market – the holiday shopping season – is also close at hand. During this decade (through 2007), retail trade employment growth in Nevada (from October through December) has averaged nearly 6,000 jobs per year.

However, in 2008, job gains were just about one-half (3,100) of their recent norms.

“Once again, we expect the weak economy to limit the number of new seasonal hires this year,” Anderson said.

(Updated at 3:09 p.m. to reflect correct statewide unemployment rate of 13.3 percent.)