Posts Tagged ‘jobless’

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.

Nevada Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 12.1 Percent In August

By Sean Whaley | 10:57 am September 21st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point to 12.1 percent in August from July, the second month of increases in the jobless rate after hitting a three-year low in May, a state agency reported today.

The increase in the seasonally adjusted rate, coming after a jump of four-tenths of a percentage point in July, continues to make Nevada the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

The rate is still well below the 13.8 percent jobless rate reported in August of 2011, the report from the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) shows.

The Las Vegas area had an unadjusted jobless rate of 12.3 percent in August, while Reno-Sparks saw a 11.5 percent rate and Carson City stood at 11.6 percent.

Nevada’s economy is front and central in the presidential race, and will be a topic of comments in Mitt Romney’s visit to Las Vegas today. Both Romney and President Obama have made several trips to Nevada over the past few months. The frequent visits highlight Nevada’s importance as a battleground state in the race.

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson, in commenting on today’s August report, said that Nevada is mirroring the nation with its labor market having softened in recent months.

“Job growth has eased, and the unemployment rate has ticked up,” he said. “Still, year-over-year improvement is evident. Taken as a whole, labor market barometers point to the tenuous nature of the current economic environment, both nationally and here in Nevada.”

Based, at least in part, upon the results of a monthly survey of Nevada businesses, total nonfarm payrolls fell by 1,000 jobs in August, Anderson said. In every month this summer, employment fell on a month-over-month basis, resulting in a summer decline of 3,600 jobs. (The June to July change in non-farm payroll jobs was revised from a gain of 2,100 to a loss of 1,100.)

“As a result of falling job levels throughout the summer, Nevada’s over-the-year employment comparison appears less impressive,” he said. “Nonetheless, Nevada still has 5,200 more jobs than in August of last year, with a gain of 6,500 in the private sector partially offset by public sector losses.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has made economic development and job creation a centerpiece of his administration and who is currently on a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, said: “While I am disappointed that Nevada experienced another slight uptick in the unemployment rate, I am encouraged by the fact that we continue to see signs of modest economic improvement, measured on a year-over-year basis, in these numbers.”

Sandoval acknowledged, however, that the slight improvement is not enough to sustain Nevada’s economy, “which is why we must continue to work to diversify our state’s economy and bring jobs to Nevada.”

As has been the case, throughout the 2012 election season, the candidates have weighed in on the latest jobless numbers.

Mason Harrison, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, said: “Today, we received more bad news from the Obama economy – more and more Nevadans are finding themselves unemployed. Nevada has seen unemployment continue to rise, despite President Obama’s promises to stop the bleeding of jobs.

“Mitt Romney will succeed where President Obama has failed by implementing a 5-point plan that will strengthen the middle class and create 12 million jobs across our country in his first term alone,” he said.

But U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement, said: “Today’s numbers highlight the critical importance of creating jobs. The best way to do that is to strengthen Nevada’s middle class and our small business community.

“I have been working with my Democratic colleagues to provide tax relief to middle class families, and to help small business owners expand and create jobs for hard working Nevadans. However, these commonsense measures have been met with unconditional obstruction by Senate and House Republicans, regardless of their potential to spur economic growth.”

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Audio clips:

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson says the national softening of the jobs market is affecting Nevada:

092112Anderson1 :16 the Nevada numbers.”

Anderson says Nevada’s rate of improvement is diminishing:

092112Anderson2 :30 of improvement diminish.”

Broader Measure Of Unemployment Shows Continued Improvement In Nevada But Still Above 20 Percent

By Sean Whaley | 12:28 pm July 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 second quarter of 2012, a federal report released today shows.

Called the U-6 rate, it declined in Nevada from 22.3 percent in the four quarters through March 31 to 22.1 percent in the 12 months ending June 30, according to the quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Photo by FEMA via Wikimedia Commons.

Nationally, the U-6 unemployment rate is 15.3 percent, down from 15.6 percent through the first quarter of 2012. The only other state above 20 percent is California, with a rate of 20.3 percent. North Dakota has the lowest rate at 6.1 percent.

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.

Nevada’s U-6 rate compares to the June seasonally adjusted rate of 11.6 percent, which held steady from May. The June rate, considered to be the official unemployment rate, was reported last week by the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Nevada leads the nation in both measures of unemployment.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said the good news for Nevada is that the unemployment rate is showing some “very modest” improvement.

“I think over time we will see the unemployment rate edge down,” he said. “There is going to be some good months, some bad months, but overall the trend is slightly downward.

“The same for the employment side of the equation, the more important employment side of the equation,” Anderson said. “Some good months, some bad months, but overall I think the positives will outweigh the negatives. But it is only going to translate into modest job growth.”

Prior to the recession Nevada was adding 60,000 jobs a year and the state was growing at four times the national labor market, he said. The current trend is about 15,000 jobs a year, Anderson said.

The official June jobless report noted that for the first half of the year, 14,000 jobs have been added in Nevada’s private sector establishments. This is on top of approximately 12,000 new jobs in 2011.

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.

In commenting last week on the June report, Sandoval said: “I am encouraged by the fact that this is the 12th straight month of positive news, but we must continue working to support job growth by bringing new business to Nevada and allowing existing businesses to be successful.”

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.

Anderson said: “We’ve got a long way to go until we get to the 4 percent rate that we were at essentially prior to the last recession. But nonetheless the news of late has been better than it was a year or two ago.”

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.

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Audio clips:

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, says the trend for unemployment in Nevada is modest improvement:

072712Anderson1 :25 is slightly downward.”

Anderson says the same is expected for job growth in Nevada:

072712Anderson3 :21 modest job growth.”

 

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.

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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.”

Jobless Claimants Who Had Problems Filing For Benefits Urged To Re-file

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:18 pm January 12th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A computer glitch that caused some jobless benefit recipients to have their claims mistakenly rejected this week has been fixed, and claimants who had problems are encouraged to re-file using the state’s website.

Claimants should go online to file their claims as soon as possible, said Frank Woodbeck, director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The telephone claims center will still accept claims, but due to the already high call volume, claimants may experience longer than usual hold times, he said.

DETR Director Frank Woodbeck.

“Staff worked during the night to correct the problem that may cause some claimants to receive their benefits about two days late,” he said. “We understand the magnitude of this situation as so many depend on unemployment benefits for their livelihood during this tough economic climate.

“We are in the midst of a five-year overhaul of our computer system, but in the meantime, we continue to struggle with 30-year-old technology, that unfortunately doesn’t function well 100 percent of the time,” Woodbeck said.

The agency on Tuesday discovered a computer error that was causing issues processing claims for benefits for this week.

There are currently about 86,000 people who received unemployment benefits weekly. The department traditionally receives a greater number of calls than usual, during this post-holiday season, which is further causing delays for callers accessing the telephone claims system.

The Unemployment Insurance Call Center hours have been extended as a result of computer system issues and a seasonal increase in demand by our customers. However, the center will be closed, as will all state offices, on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

All calls received prior to 5 p.m. each day will receive assistance from one of our customer agents. The Unemployment Insurance Call Center will be accepting calls Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Nevada’s Jobless Rate Holds Steady at 13.4 Percent In October

By Sean Whaley | 12:45 pm November 21st, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 13.4 percent in October, the third consecutive month the jobless number has held steady, a state agency reported today.

An estimated 176,400 Nevadans were looking for work, according to the monthly report from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Photo courtesy of Jay from Cudahy via Flickr.

While the statewide rate held steady, the jobless rate in the metropolitan areas declined, from 13.6 percent to 13.1 percent in Las Vegas, from 12.6 percent to 12.1 percent in the Reno-Sparks area, and from 12.4 percent to 12 percent in Carson City. The rates for these areas are not adjusted for seasonality.

The unemployment rate in the Elko micropolitan area, encompassing Elko and Eureka counties, reached its lowest level this year, checking in at 6.7 percent.

The national rate fell to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in September.

“This month’s unemployment numbers demonstrate growth in key industries and certain areas, and the overall stability is a sign that job losses may have come to an end,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “The numbers prove that we must continue our efforts to fight back from this recession job by job and company by company. There is a role for each one of us to help get Nevada working again.”

While the rate of unemployment held steady in October, employers posted another small increase in employment.  Nevada’s employers added 400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“Nevada’s employment and unemployment picture continued to show signs of economic stability with some modest improvement in October,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. “Overall, there are some positives in this month’s numbers, but for a state looking to bounce back from a deep recession, the numbers leave considerable room for improvement.”

On the positive side, the leisure and hospitality industry added 3,200 jobs. The increase adds to recent improvement in the last year. Since October 2010, leisure and hospitality employers have increased payrolls by 14,700, a 4.7 percent increase. The education and health services sector continues to shine with the addition of 1,400 jobs in October, and employment is up a robust 5.8 percent since the same month last year. The gain pushed total employment in the sector to 106,300 workers, setting a new all time high.  Lastly, the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 1,400 positions in October, most of them in retail and transportation and warehousing, but employment remains slightly below year-ago levels.

Anderson said he would characterize the October report overall as “decent”.

“We continue to see signs of stabilization, and now, more and more, we’re starting to see signs of outright improvement,” he said.

“For the coming year, Nevada can expect employment to see modest growth,” Anderson said. “We can reasonably predict the unemployment rate to experience moderate fluctuations and even make some improvement. As it stands, we do expect 2012 to be better for Nevada’s economy than 2011.”

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Audio clips:

DETR Economist Bill Anderson says the October report overall is decent:

112111Anderson1 :21 the public sector.”

Anderson says Nevada still has a long ways to go, however:

112111Anderson2 :18 out of this.”

 

 

New Federal Report Shows Broader Unemployment Measure High But Holding Steady In Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 12:04 pm October 28th, 2011

CARSON CITY – A broader measure of Nevada’s unemployment picture, including those who have given up looking for work, showed no change through the third quarter of 2011, holding at 23.3 percent, a federal report released today shows.

The quarterly report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing data through Sept. 30, mirrors the status of Nevada’s official jobless rate for September, which also remained steady at 13.4 percent from August.

The report 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. Nevada also has the highest official unemployment rate among the states.

Occupy Wall Street protestor. / Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

The national rate in the quarterly report improved slightly to 16.2 percent from 16.3 percent through June 30, 2011.

California was again in second place in the report at 21.6 percent, also a slight improvement from the 21.8 percent reported through June 30.

Nevada and California are the only two states in the nation with a rate above 20 percent.

The “Alternative Measures of Labor Underutilization for States, Fourth Quarter of 2010 through Third 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.

While Nevada’s official jobless rate held steady in September, Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, noted some modest signs of improvement in the monthly report released Oct. 21.

While still in the double digits, the 13.4 percent official jobless rate is below the 14.9 percent reported for Nevada in September 2010.

Nevada’s battered economy was a focus of the visit by President Obama to Las Vegas on Monday. Nevada’s high jobless and home foreclosure rates are expected to be major issues in the 2012 general election.

Unemployment Rate Up Statewide

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:44 am September 16th, 2011

The statewide unemployment rate has increased to 13.4 percent, up from 12.9 percent in July. In all, 176,200 people were out of work in August.

Bowery men waiting in bread line in New York City / Library of Congress photo

Unemployment in Las Vegas rose for the fourth straight month. the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) reported this morning. The jobless rate jumped to 14.2 percent in August, up from 14 percent in the prior month.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR, said the market is not improving as well as many would hope.

“The market continues to experience flat employment readings and an increasing jobless rate,” said Anderson in a statement. “The good news is that dramatic job losses have subsided; unfortunately, it is not enough to consistently bring the unemployment rate down. The poor condition of the construction industry continues to contribute heavily to Nevada’s economic stalemate.”

Employment levels have dropped 0.2 percent statewide since the beginning of the year, for a loss of 2,000 jobs.

The DETR report also showed increases in the number of longer-term unemployed. In the 12 month period ending in August, workers without jobs for more than 26 weeks accounted for half of Nevada’s unemployed.

“The ramifications of extended joblessness for this segment of the workforce are potentially profound and long lasting,” Anderson stated. “When a person is out of work for a long period of time, skills and experience diminish, making it more difficult to find employment as time goes on.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in August.

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.”

Federal Report Sheds Light On Nevada’s Dismal 2010 Unemployment Picture

By Sean Whaley | 4:24 pm January 28th, 2011

CARSON CITY – The fact that Nevada has the worst unemployment rate in the nation isn’t exactly news, but a report released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an in-depth picture of just how bad it was in 2010.

The report shows that Nevada’s “actual” unemployment rate for the calendar year was 23.6 percent, with California second at 22.1 percent.

The actual unemployment rate shows a much worse jobless situation both in Nevada and nationally because it uses a broader definition that encompasses workers who are too discouraged to seek employment and have given up searching, and workers employed part time for economic reasons.

Persons employed part time for economic reasons are 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, the bureau reports. These individuals are sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers.

Using this measure, nearly one in four Nevadans was unemployed or “underemployed” in 2010.

The rate is one of six “alternative measures of labor under-utilization” generated by the bureau, another of which is the much lower official monthly unemployment rate.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, which announces the official monthly unemployment rate for the state, had this to say about the actual unemployment rate when it cited the figure in a release last year, “. . . from a policy perspective, the actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report also shows that by any one of six different measures of unemployment in 2010, Nevada ranked the worst.

“In 2010, Nevada reported the highest rate for all six alternative measures of labor under-utilization,” the report says.

Nevada reported last week that the official unemployment rate in December was 14.5 percent, up two-tenths of a percentage point over November. Nevada again had the highest rate in the nation, followed by California and Florida.

For the 2010 calendar year, Nevada averaged 14.4 percent unemployment, again, highest in the nation.

Nevada’s “Actual” Unemployment Rate Hit 22.3% In Third Quarter

By Sean Whaley | 2:05 pm October 29th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s “actual” unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2010 increased to 22.3 percent from 21.5 percent in the second quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows a much worse unemployment situation in Nevada and nationally because it includes workers who are too discouraged to seek employment and have given up searching, and workers employed part time for economic reasons.

The number is generated as a three-month average every quarter.

The monthly unemployment report for Nevada for September, released a week ago, showed the state’s jobless rate at 14.4 percent, unchanged from August and still the highest in the nation. But the monthly jobless report underestimates the number of unemployed because it only estimates unemployed workers who are actively seeking employment.

In citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics data when the July Nevada jobless rate was reported, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) said: “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.

“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,” DETR reported. “But, from a policy perspective, the actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy.”

Stacey Standish, a press information officer for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the numbers for the quarterly report are generated from a survey of 60,000 households nationwide. The 22.3 percent rate for Nevada, which is 16.8 percent nationally, includes part-time workers who want to work full time, and discouraged workers who have not actively sought employment over the past year, she said.

Nevada is tops in the nation in the Labor Statistics report, followed by California at 22.1 percent and Michigan at 21.3 percent.

The grim data comes out just days before the Nov. 2 general election, where the economy and jobs have been the major focus of candidates.

The state’s record high unemployment rate, combined with Congressional approval last year of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is aimed at reducing the national jobless rate, have become major campaign issues in the Nevada Senate race between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

The effectiveness of the stimulus spending also came up in a recent debate between Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Joe Heck in the Congressional 3 race. Heck called the stimulus bill a failure at generating jobs. Titus said the state’s unemployment rate would be much worse without the jobs created through the stimulus legislation.

Both Reid and Titus are locked in dead-heat races with their opponents.

Some of the stimulus projects have also been criticized as being wasteful, including a tree planting project in Clark County first reported by the Nevada News Bureau that made a GOP list of the top 100 worst projects nationwide.

The majority of the nearly $2.5 billion stimulus funds received by the Nevada have not gone to job creating projects. The money has spent on Medicaid caseloads and jobless benefits as specified in the legislation. Three jobless related programs alone account for nearly $1.3 billion in total spending in Nevada.

The federal stimulus reporting website shows 9,300 jobs created in Nevada from the stimulus funding through June 30.

The September 2010 Nevada unemployment report showed a total of just over 1.1 million jobs in the state, nearly 24,000 fewer jobs than in September 2009.

Nevada Jobless Rate Actually Above 20 Percent Based On U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics Data

By Sean Whaley | 11:33 am August 21st, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s worst in the nation 14.3 percent unemployment rate for July does not even begin to tell the real story of the state’s dismal job situation, a state agency reported today.

The actual unemployment rate in Nevada through the second quarter of 2010 is 21.5 percent, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The announced jobless rate reported over the same time frame was 13.1 percent, an 8.4 percentage point difference.

“The actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy,” says the news release from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

The agency said the difference in the two numbers is due to the fact that the monthly jobless report underestimates the number of unemployed. The monthly report only estimates unemployed workers who are actively seeking employment. It does not include workers who are too discouraged to seek employment and have given up searching, or workers employed part time for economic reasons.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the actual unemployment rate by state as a four quarter moving average. That average through June 30 is 21.5 percent.

“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,” DETR reported. “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 report said.

The July monthly report released today shows a one-tenth of a percentage point increase in the jobless rate to 14.3 percent, a new state record and the 16th consecutive new high for the state. Nearly 200,000 people are looking for work.

The report shows that Nevada saw the loss of 9,600 jobs in July, with 5,600 of those coming from the public sector. But for the first time since March, private employers reported fewer jobs as well, according to the report.

The report also notes that in June the Las Vegas metropolitan area had the highest jobless rate of all metro areas with one million or more population, surpassing even Detroit, Mich.

With an increase of an additional two-tenths to 14.8 percent in July, Las Vegas will likely maintain the highest rate for yet another month, the agency reported.

The state’s record high unemployment rate, combined with Congressional approval last year of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is aimed at reducing the national jobless rate, have become major campaign issues in the Nevada Senate race between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

Many Republicans are calling the stimulus act a failure at creating jobs and full of wasteful spending.

Reid has defended the program, which a spokesman said today will bring over $3 billion in federal funding to create jobs and spur economic growth in Nevada.

Nevada State Controller Kim Wallin has added a weekly stimulus funds report to her website detailing the most current ARRA activity in Nevada.

The summary is intended to compliment the quarterly ARRA reports also provided by the controller’s office summarizing the financial activity as of the end of the quarter and specific information about on-going stimulus projects.

As of June 30, the state had been awarded just under $2.5 billion in stimulus funds, with nearly $2 billion actually received by the state and just under that amount spent, according to the quarterly report.

The report says that during the period from April 1 through June 30, 6,597 jobs were funded by the recovery act. State stabilization funding account­ed for 5,050 jobs within the Nevada System of Higher Education. In addition K-12 Education accounted for 521, transportation accounted for 296, and health and human services accounted for 265 added jobs.

The National Senatorial Republican Committee (NRSC) weighed in today on Nevada’s unemployment rate, saying it is proof that the stimulus program signed into law in February 2009 has failed.

The funding bill has been criticized as well for including spending on questionable projects, such as a tree planting program in Clark County, among others.

“If you’re a monkey with a cocaine addiction or a smoker who needs a cell phone, this stimulus boondoggle has been a great success,” said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. “Unfortunately, if you’re a Nevada family struggling to make a mortgage payment, a worker trying to find a job or a young person who will ultimately be responsible for paying back the billions that Harry Reid has borrowed on the government credit card, the stimulus has been a stunning failure.”

Reid spokesman Kelly Steele said the stimulus dollars have prevented “Great Depression” levels of unemployment.

“Our economic times are still extremely tough and recovery certainly won’t happen overnight, but the very last thing Nevadans need is someone like Sharron Angle, who believes it’s not her job to get Nevadans back to work, would shred the safety net that puts food on their tables, and opposes Sen. Reid’s Wall Street reform that would ensure our current housing and foreclosure crisis will never happen again,” Steele said.

Reinstatement Of Extended Benefits Claims To Be Completed Next Week

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 4:16 pm August 6th, 2010

CARSON CITY – More than 20,000 Nevadans have received extended benefit payments since President Obama signed into law legislation extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program on July 22, a state agency reported today.

The process for about 20,000 more eligible Nevadans should be completed by next week, said Cindy Jones, deputy director of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

“The department continues to work overtime processing claims to ensure everyone who qualifies for EUC and State Extended Benefits are expeditiously paid current and past funds due to them,” Jones said. “We understand the anxiety people are feeling as they wait for their benefits to be paid. We appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of claimants as we work together to make this process go as smoothly as possible.”

Instructional letters followed by benefit statements have been and continue to be mailed to all who qualify for EUC and State Extended Benefits informing them of their benefit amounts and what is required to reopen their claims, she said.

Claimants should avoid calling the Unemployment Claims Centers until they receive their benefit statements. Claimants who have not received a letter from the department by Aug. 13 should contact the unemployment call centers. Claimants should only call the Debit Card customer service line to check their card balances.

Due to the volume of transactions being made, the payments must be made in categories, Jones said.

“Our computer system is being pushed to capacity” she said. “However, we were able to begin paying claimants much sooner than we expected and will complete the process more quickly than what we hoped for.”

Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Hits Another Record High In June Reaching 14.2 Percent

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:48 pm July 19th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate hit another record high in June, reaching 14.2 percent as 193,000 residents looked for work, a state agency reported today.

The rate in Las Vegas hit 14.5 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from May.

The June statewide jobless rate was an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from May, which was the previous record at 14 percent, according to the monthly report from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

At the national level, the unemployment rate declined from 9.7 percent to 9.5 percent.

“This is a good sign, since a national economic rebound is a prerequisite for improvement in Nevada,” the report said. “But with stimulus dollars running short and private employers thus far sitting on the sidelines, expectations for near-term economic growth have diminished somewhat of late.”

Statewide, total employment decreased by 1,400, even though private sector employers added 3,400 jobs. Seasonal declines in state and local government offset improvement in the private sector.

Employers in the trade, transportation and utilities industry, which include wholesale and retail trade, added 2,000 jobs. The previous month’s unusual job contraction in the education and health services sector reversed itself in June with an over-the-month employment increase of 2,100. Preliminary data in the construction industry brought an unanticipated loss of 2,400 jobs as many participants in the survey indicated the end of specific projects as the reason for the lower employment numbers.

State and local government employers shed 4,800 jobs, but most were seasonal, tied to the end of the school year. The temporary census hiring which fueled the previous increases in federal government employment has ended, and the positions will cease to exist in the next couple of months.

Nevada’s Borrowing To Pay Jobless Benefits On Target Despite Record Unemployment Rate

By Sean Whaley | 4:55 pm June 25th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Despite Nevada’s record high unemployment rate, the amount of money the state expects to borrow from the federal government to pay jobless benefits remains on target, a state official said this week.

Cindy Jones, administrator of the Employment Security Division, said the state has borrowed $424 million so far and is on a pace to borrow between $1 billion and $1.2 billion through the end of the recession to pay the state’s 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to laid off workers.

Jones said Nevada’s record 14 percent jobless rate reported in May includes all those seeking work, not just those eligible to receive benefits. The long-term unemployed also don’t have any new wages on which to file claims, she said.

“The increase in the unemployment rate does not necessarily translate into an increase in unemployment insurance claims,” Jones said.

“We’re still seeing very high claim volume compared to anything we’ve experienced at any other time in the program’s history, but we’re not seeing the rapid rise that we saw last year,” she said.

That $1 billion or more in borrowed funds will likely have to be repaid to the federal government, which means higher unemployment taxes imposed on Nevada businesses to make good on the loans.

The average tax paid by most Nevada employers was kept at 1.33 percent for the current year, despite the knowledge that the rate would be inadequate to pay all unemployment claims. The rate was held steady to help businesses weather the economic slowdown.

Jones said over 40 states are expected to borrow about $100 billion from the federal government to pay benefits during this recession. Nevada began borrowing money in late October of 2009 to keep paying claims, holding off longer than many other states because of a healthy trust fund.

The states are getting a break in that no interest is accruing yet on the borrowed funds, she said. Interest was waived this calendar year but will begin on Jan. 1 unless Congress acts to extend the interest free period, Jones said. Nevada’s first interest payment of about $60 million is scheduled to come due in the fall of 2011.

Nevada was prepared for a recession and had a healthy trust fund available to pay claims, Jones said. But no one was prepared for a slowdown of the magnitude that hit the nation, she said.

Mary Lau, president and chief executive officer of the Retail Association of Nevada, said the expectation that businesses will have to repay the federal loans through higher unemployment tax rates could negatively impact job growth when the state does emerge from the recession. Employers may not be as quick to hire, she said.

“Everybody is going to be paying more,” Lau said. “Some of the jobs may not come back.”

Other factors, including the new minimum wage requirements, will also affect hiring, she said.

The state’s minimum wage is set to go up to $8.25 a hour on July 1. The current rate is $7.55 an hour.

It is highly unlikely the federal government will forgive the loans, Lau said.

audio clips:

Cindy Jones says unemployment rate doesn’t directly correlate with jobless claims:

062410Jones1 :14 eligible for benefits.”

Jones says Nevada not alone in borrowing to pay claims:

062410Jones2 :21 certainly not alone.”

Jones said Nevada was ready for normal slowdown:

062310Jones3 :28 find ourselves in.”

Mary Lau says increased unemployment taxes may slow job creation:

062410Lau1 :14 that much more.”