Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

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’s Jobless Rate Declines To 11.8 Percent In September

By Sean Whaley | 11:45 am October 19th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 11.8 percent in September, a decline of three-tenths of a percentage point from the 12.1 percent rate reported for August and a significant improvement from September 2011’s reading of 13.6 percent, a state agency reported today.

The seasonally-adjusted rate remains above the 11.6 percent figure reported in May, which was a three-year low.

September’s household survey showed more Nevadans are working, partly contributing to the decline in the rate of unemployment, said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The 11.8 percent rate equates to a seasonally adjusted 161,600 individuals still unemployed, he said.

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

The number of Nevadans out of work fell by 4,300 in September, which is partly due to some falling out of the workforce, as well as people obtaining employment.

“Nevada’s economy and our labor markets are on the mend,” Anderson said. “We’re moving forward at a modest pace. It’s best not to get too worried about what happened in July when the rate jumped a few tenths of a point. And I’d also suggest not to get too excited about the decline in the rate from August to September. You average it all together and we’re slowly on the mend.”

Unfortunately there are lagging sectors in the private employment picture, most notably in construction, which are holding back the state’s overall numbers, he said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said he is encouraged by September’s job growth and the slight decrease in the jobless rate.

“I am also pleased that export activity is up one-third over last year and that Nevada is taking an increased role in the world’s economy,” he said. “This news further validates our efforts to reach out to foreign countries, which we will continue to do.”

Sandoval led a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea in September.

Amongst the state’s three largest population centers, the Las Vegas metro area is home to the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 11.5 percent, which is not seasonally adjusted and so not comparable to the statewide adjusted rate. This is down from 12.3 percent in August and, more importantly, from the 14 percent reported a year ago.

In Reno/Sparks the rate fell 0.7 of a point, to 10.8 percent. A year ago, the region’s jobless rate stood at 12.9 percent. Carson City is home to a 10.9 percent rate, down from 11.5 percent in August and 12.8 percent last year.

“The news is encouraging, as a year ago, there were an estimated 188,300 Nevadans counted as unemployed,” Anderson said. “Monthly measures are subject to wide swings, and it is perhaps best not to put too much weight behind that volatility; however, when evaluated as a whole, the economy is slowly moving in a positive direction.”

Typically during the month, about 7,500 jobs (not seasonally adjusted) are added in the state, the majority of them in the public sector coinciding with the start of a new academic year. This year, however, 14,600 jobs were added, resulting in a seasonally adjusted gain of 7,100. Through the first three quarters of the year, private sector jobs are up by more than 12,000 compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, more jobs are expected to be added during the holiday season, making modest gains over last year, Anderson said. From September to December 2011, Nevada added 4,100 jobs, however prior to the recession, seasonal job gains approached 9,000 during the holiday hiring period.

The good news on the jobless front is expected to continue, he said, after the agency reported Thursday 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.

Initial jobless claims are a leading indicator and suggest improvement going forward in the near term, Anderson said.

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Audio clips:

DETER Chief Economist Bill Anderson says Nevada’s economy and its labor markets are on the mend:

101912Anderson1 :26 on the mend.”

Anderson says the low rate of initial jobless claims in September suggests Nevada’s unemployment rate should continue to improve over the near term:

101912Anderson2 :12 the near term.”

 

New Report Shows Nevada Among States With Highest Per Capita Debt

By Sean Whaley | 3:06 pm October 8th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada is among the states with the highest amount of government debt per capita at $14,949, according to a new report from State Budget Solutions (SBS), a non-partisan advocate for state budget reform.

The level of debt put Nevada at 37th highest among the states.

It was a slight improvement from 2011, when Nevada ranked 38th highest at $15,509.

The debt totals include budget gaps, outstanding unemployment trust fund loans, post-employment benefit liabilities such as health care coverage and unfunded public pension liabilities.

Nevada, for example, has borrowed about $680 million from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits during the current recession. The state is looking at increasing tax rates on businesses to repay the loan. The state’s Public Employees’ Retirement System was projected by the state to have a long-term unfunded liability of $11 billion as of June 30, 2011. Other analyses put the liability at much higher levels.

Hawaii, New Jersey and Alaska lead the nation with the highest debt per capita at $29,062, $29,252 and $31,141 respectively.

Debt among all the states amounts to $13,425 for each resident.

“Americans are sadly desensitized to the trillions of dollars in debt our states are facing,” said Bob Williams, president of SBS. “This report brings the debt closer to home by demonstrating that a newborn arrives already more than $13,000 in debt and that a family of four owes their state government $53,700. It is the individuals and families who will ultimately bear this horrific financial burden if state governments do not get their budgets under control.”

In a telephone interview, Williams said meaningful pension reform would go a long ways to reducing the per capita debt. But the looming costs of the federal health care law could become a significant contributing factor to the problem in the years to come, he said.

“States really need to address the pension problem,” he said. “Currently the public sector salaries and benefits, particularly the pensions, are unsustainable for the taxpayers.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval has advocated for changing Nevada’s public pension plan to a defined contribution plan where there would be no long-term liability to taxpayers, but efforts to change the plan in the 2011 legislative session went nowhere.

Getting policy makers to act has been difficult, but recently some of the bond rating firms have begun to signal their concerns, Williams said. If states’ bond ratings are lowered, it might finally force them to come to terms with their debt problems, he said.

Even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has acknowledged concerns over pension costs, Williams said.

Bill Gates has also expressed concerns about the cost of public pensions and the effect on funding for public and higher education.

“You cannot keep pushing the cost off to future generations,” Williams said.

The report is an extension of State Budget Solutions’ third annual State Debt Report, released in August showing that state governments face a crushing debt of more than $4.6 trillion. The analysis of debt per person looks at state debt per capita, per private sector employee, and the percentage of private sector gross state product (GSP). In each of the three categories, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Alaska are among states with the five largest debt figures. At the other end of the spectrum, Nebraska has the lowest total in each of the areas.

Nebraska has the lowest total debt per capita at just $4,249 for each resident. Tennessee, Indiana, Florida, and Idaho round out the lowest five debt levels per capita.

Private sector workers are at increased risk as they are the ultimate tax base for reducing state debt, the report says. Using figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Budget Solutions determined that Hawaii has the largest debt per private sector worker at $83,815, followed by Alaska, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Mexico. Nebraska again has the lowest total, with $9,829 in debt for each private sector employee. Indiana, Tennessee, North Dakota, and South Dakota follow.

“Voters deserve to know how much debt their elected officials are saddling them with before they go to voting booth,” Williams said. “$13,425 per person is an unacceptable debt and immediate fiscal reform is desperately needed.”

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Audio clip:

Bob Williams of State Budget Solutions says awareness of and concerns with state debt problems are growing:

100812Williams :23 to future generations.”

 

 

President Obama Touts His Accomplishments For Veterans, Military In Reno Visit

By Sean Whaley | 4:27 pm July 23rd, 2012

RENO – President Obama told members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today that he has fulfilled the promises he made four years ago to make America safer, strengthen jobs programs for returning military personnel and fight homelessness, suicide and posttraumatic stress disorder among the nation’s veterans.

Obama, appearing at the 113th convention of the group, acknowledged in a 30-minute speech that more needs to be done to help returning military personnel find jobs. He took the opportunity to announce a major overhaul of the transition assistance program.

President Obama speaks to the VFW in Reno today.

“We’re going to set up a kind of reverse boot camp for our departing service members,” he said. “Starting this year, they will get more personalized assistance as they plan their careers. We’ll provide the training they need to find that job, or pursue that education or start that business. And just as they have maintained their military readiness, we’ll have new standards of career readiness.”

He also urged Congress to find a solution to the nation’s deficit spending to protect the military budget from automatic cuts set to take effect next year without an agreement.

“Because people in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong,” Obama said. “It should be done.

“If the choice is between tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and funding (for) our troops that they definitely need to keep our country strong, I will stand with our troops every single time,” he said. “So let’s stop playing politics with our military.”

Obama said he promised four years ago, to “take the fight to our enemies and renew our leadership in the world.”

“As president, that’s what I’ve done,” he said.

Not only did his administration kill Osama bin Laden, but it has also taken out more top al-Qaeda leaders than at any time since 9-11, Obama said.

Obama also highlighted his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in what he said was a responsible manner, and the administration plan now under way to withdraw all U.S. military from Afghanistan, completing a transition to Afghan military control by 2014.

Obama received a number of cheers and applause from the crowd of men and women, some young and others veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Korea, among other conflicts.

He took a few minutes at the beginning of his remarks to talk about those with military connections who were victims of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting rampage Friday, including Jonathan Blunk, a 2004 graduate of Hug High and a Navy veteran.

His appearance, the second visit to Reno this year, will be followed tomorrow by remarks from Mitt Romney, his presumed GOP rival in the November general election.

Romney has attacked Obama’s record on the military. On his website, he says: “President Obama came into office with a military in serious need of modernization. However, instead of rebuilding our strength, President Obama has put us on course toward a ‘hollow’ force. President Obama has repeatedly sought to slash funds for our fighting men and women, and over the next ten years nearly $1 trillion will be cut from the core defense budget. This budget cutting enterprise is proceeding while American troops are in combat in Afghanistan, returning from their mission in Iraq, and fighting the remnants of al-Qaeda worldwide.”

In a response to Obama’s remarks, Romney campaign spokesman Mason Harrison said: “In no region of the world is our country’s influence any stronger than it was four years ago. President Obama has failed to restore our economy, is weakening our military with devastating defense cuts, and has diminished our moral authority. Governor Romney will restore the pillars of American strength to secure our interests and defend our values.”

Obama’s Nevada visit focused on his record of accomplishments in the military and Veterans arenas, but still brought him to a battleground state viewed as critical by political observers for victory by the candidates in November.

He won Nevada in 2008, but with the highest unemployment rate and one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the nation, the state is considered to be a toss up. Washoe County in particular is viewed as critical to which candidate will win the state’s six electoral votes.

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Audio clips:

President Obama urges Congress to come up with a deficit reduction plan to avoid mandatory cuts to the military budget next year:

072312Obama1 :14 should be done.”

Obama says he will fight for military funding rather than lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans:

072312Obama2 :14 every single time.”

Obama announces a “reverse boot camp” to help returning military personnel find work:

072312Obama3 :24 of career readiness.”

 

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.”

Report Says Nevada Tax System Ranks Highly For Entrepreneurship and Small Business

By Sean Whaley | 11:29 am April 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A new business index evaluating the states on the effects of their tax systems on entrepreneurship and small business ranks Nevada 3rd behind South Dakota and Texas.

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s “Business Tax Index 2012” pulls together 18 different tax measures, and combines them into one tax score that allows the 50 states and District of Columbia to be compared and ranked.

Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for the SBE Council and author of the report, said: “All taxes matter, whether imposed at the federal, state or local level of government. They matter to consumers, entrepreneurs, investors and businesses. State and local levies matter in terms of a state’s competitiveness. And they matter when it comes to economic growth and job creation.”

Business Tax Index 2012: State Rankings

Rank State BTI
1 South Dakota 11.813
2 Texas 12.339
3 Nevada 12.614
4 Wyoming 17.360
5 Washington 17.890

Among the measures used to create the rankings are each state’s top personal income tax rate, top individual capital gains tax rate, top corporate income tax rate, property taxes, sales and excise taxes and unemployment taxes.

Nevada does not have either a personal or corporate income tax and was rated highly in these categories. The state did not do as well in the property tax ranking, coming in 33rd as a share of personal income, 47th on sales and excise taxes and 36th on unemployment taxes.

The report compares favorably with another analysis recently released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The fifth edition of “Rich States, Poor States,” ranked Nevada 18th among states in its ability to compete and grow its economy.

Minnesota ranked last among states in the SBE Council analysis.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has made job creation a top priority of his administration. Earlier this year he announced a goal of creating 50,000 jobs in the state by the end of 2014.

The state recently released its economic development and diversification plan for the state.

Nevada leads the nation in unemployment, with a 12 percent rate reported in March. While the rate has fallen for seven consecutive months, recent improvements are due primarily to discouraged workers who have given up looking for work.

“As we’ve noted previously, it became quite apparent during the most recent recession that Nevada’s economic fortunes are very much tied to the U.S. economy,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), when the March report was released last week. “For the state’s modestly improving labor market to continue to strengthen, underlying fundamentals in the U.S. economy must be favorable.”

The SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit small business advocacy and research organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

 

Nevada’s Jobless Rate Falls To 13 Percent In November, First Drop Since May

By Sean Whaley | 4:31 pm December 19th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate fell in November for the first time since May, to a seasonally-adjusted 13 percent, a state agency reported today. The rate is down nearly two percentage points from the same time last year, pushing the estimate of jobless Nevadans down to 171,800 from 198,200.

The rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point from October’s 13.4 percent rate.

“This month’s unemployment number, while still unacceptably high, shows that we are starting to see steady increases in hiring,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval. “In addition to a trend of adding jobs on a consistent basis, we are beginning to see increased signs of growth. While the recovery remains fragile, it appears economic growth will come at a modest and steady pace.”

Photo courtesy of Jay from Cudahy via Flickr.

In Las Vegas, the unemployment rate fell to 12.5 percent in November from 13.1 percent in October. The jobless rate dropped in the Reno-Sparks area, falling from 12.1 percent in October to 11.6 percent in November. In Carson City, the unemployment rate fell to 11.7 percent from 12 percent in October.

The unemployment rate in the Elko area fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.6 percent.  Elko’s unemployment rate is two percentage points below the national average and more than five percentage points lower than the statewide rate.

“Nevada’s economy continued on a path of stabilization in November, while showing modest improvement overall,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). “Employment grew for the fifth consecutive month, adding 1,300 jobs in November based on a seasonally adjusted basis. In all, employers have added 7,800 jobs since June.”

The news is not all positive, however, he said.

A broader scan of workforce indicators suggests deeper structural weakness than the unemployment rate suggests, Anderson said. While the publicized unemployment rate (includes unemployed workers actively seeking employment) has fallen significantly in the last year, a broader measure of unemployment has not followed suit.

When you account for the discouraged (includes the unemployed who would like a job, but are not seeking employment) and the underemployed due to economic reasons, the unemployment rate is running at 23.3 percent based on a four quarter moving average.

“I’m certainly encouraged by the decline in the unemployment rate; I’m encouraged by some modest growth on the employment front; but I just think it’s important to qualify those positives by noting that we still have a long way to go,” Anderson said. “We have a big hole to dig out of.”

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Audio clips:

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), says the November report is arguably the best in quite some time:

121911Anderson1 :21 to make up.”

Anderson says there is still a lot of ground to make up, however:

121911Anderson2 :19 dig out of.”

 

Let’s Get Linky

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:49 pm September 23rd, 2011

Bored with my usual “In Case You Missed It” headline, so I’m mixing it up today, Dear Readers. Livin’ on the edge, that’s me. Here’s some stuff you may have missed this week in your mad rush to live your life:

Presidential/Electoral Stuff

What do Florida and Nevada have in common, besides being all sunshine-y? They are both toss-up states with high unemployment rates, which puts them in play in 2012 presidential politics. Michigan (blue) and North Carolina (red) are leaners rather than toss-ups, but that Motor City jobless rate might be a problem for Obama as well. (H/T Ralston)

Rick Santorum admits to helping out a fellow Senator and tipping off John Ensign way back when. (Doug Hampton said as much when he appeared on Face to Face.)

Senate

Here’s the state GOP complaint/request filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics Tuesday for an investigation into Rep. Berkley’s legislative actions related to her husband’s medical practice and related matters. Ralston put together a fun timeline showing what happened next.

Sen. Dean Heller gave his first speech. Quite the populist these days. Those of running for U.S. Senate and trying to appeal to independents, I mean.

I wonder if Heller called these guys copycats? He’s been pushing for transparency of that supercommittee with near-daily press releases since it was formed.

House

Speaking of copycats, someone at R&R pointed me to a Joe Trippi “Echo” ad in the California governor’s race after I Tweeted something about this Amodei ad tying Kate Marshall to various Dems.

You know its official when the door sign goes up.

Gov

Sandoval is having a couple of little fundraisers. And Secretary of State Ross J. Miller says he’s looking at the AG’s (not the governor’s) office in 2014.

Sandoval is not running for vice president. Really, Dear Readers, he’s not.

T-shirts for cheap. (Poor Jim Gibbons.)

Leg

Redistricting continues.

Random Stuff

Personal income growth in the states is (you guessed it) down. Nevada is in the lowest fifth.

Someone is encouraging people to move to Nevada, but not for the reasons you might think.

Here’s the Retail Association of Nevada poll if you want to read the whole thing.

We might get the winter Olympics. In 2022. If the world has not ended by then.

I didn’t know there was such a thing as the Chinese Miss Cosmos pageant. There is. And it’s coming to Reno.

 

 

 

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.

Report Suggests Economic Growth May Soon Be Under Way In Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 1:04 pm March 11th, 2011

CARSON CITY – While much of the economic news about Nevada is gloom and doom, a new report prepared for Secretary of State Ross Miller shows new business filings in the last quarter of 2010 turned positive for the first time since mid-2006.

The turnaround suggests the worst of the economic slowdown may be behind us, according to the report.

“Should historical trends hold true to form, general economic growth – including increased stability within the job market – should follow,” the report says. “When the new entity filings are charted with employment figures, it becomes clear that the new business filing statistics kept by the Secretary of State’s office may be a reliable leading indicator of future economic activity.”

Courtesy of Applied Analysis

The report was prepared by Applied Analysis at Miller’s request.

According to Applied Analysis Principal Jeremy Aguero, the research firm has analyzed hundreds of economic indicators and concluded that new business filings reported by the Secretary of State’s office provide meaningful insight and may even be an early warning system of future economic instability. Aguero also indicated that since these data have not been reported on a recurring basis, they may have been overlooked in the past.

In the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010, the number of new business filings totaled 13,801, contributing to a 12-month tally of 55,082. The latest quarterly volume was 2.4 percent above the preceding quarter and 2.8 percent above the 13,429 reported in the same period of the prior year.

Courtesy of Applied Analysis

The report comes out as the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation reported this week that the state’s unemployment rate fell seven-tenths of a percentage point to 14.2 percent in January. The drop was not seen as positive for the state, however.

“Unfortunately, the decrease was not driven by significant improvement in the labor market” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department. “It appears likely that some jobless Nevadans are becoming discouraged and giving up their search for work and dropping out of the labor force. In addition, given stagnant population levels, it is also likely that some Nevadans are leaving the state.”

Anderson noted there are some signs of an improving economy, with the key indicators of visitor statistics, gaming win and taxable sale exceeding expectations. Rising gas prices could affect the number of visitors to the state, however, he warned.

The Gaming Control Board also this week reported the casino gaming win for January, showing a less than 1 percent decline compared to January of 2010. The 0.67 percent decline was based on $877 million in win statewide.

For the seven months of the fiscal year to date, gaming win is up 1.2 percent over the same period in the prior year.

The Applied Analysis review of the new business filings makes one other point: Increases in foreign filings picked up in the first quarter of 2010 and have remained ahead of the prior year. Foreign filings were up 29.6 percent over 2009.

“Increases in the number of new foreign filers helped offset declines reported by domestic filers, which were down 7.8 percent for 2010. During the year, foreign filings accounted for 7.4 percent of activity, relatively modest yet a notable increase from the 5.4 percent average reported in all of 2009.”

Applied Analysis is a Nevada-based advisory services firm founded in 1997, providing information and analysis to both the public and private sectors.

More Nevadans Got Food Stamps Last Year

By Andrew Doughman | 9:48 am February 7th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Nevada saw 27 percent growth in the number of residents receiving food stamps this past year.

That makes Nevada’s growth the second-highest in the nation with Idaho claiming the largest percent growth at 28 percent.

Between Nov. 2009 and Nov. 2010, 69,000 more Nevadans signed up to receive food stamps, reported the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services.

That means 322,950 Nevadans are using food stamps, which are now, technically, called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The Pew Center on the States compiled the latest data, released this January, to compare all 50 states. The organization report‘s that 26 million people received food stamps prior to the recession, whereas 43.6 million people now get food stamps.

Idaho’s unemployment rate is 9.5 percent compared to Nevada’s 14.5 percent.

Nevada’s Unemployment Insurance Fund Could Be Insolvent Until 2018

By Andrew Doughman | 2:08 pm January 21st, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment-insurance benefit fund could be in the red until 2018 as the state continues to borrow from the federal government to keep sending unemployment checks.

To make matters worse, a report today shows a 0.2 percentage point jump in the unemployment rate from 14.3 percent in November, 2010 to 14.5 percent during December.

The state’s Employment Security Council had already raised the unemployment tax rate on businesses from 1.33 percent in 2010 to 2 percent this year to help account for the fund’s deficit. But the tax won’t help pay down the millions of dollars in loans immediately.

“Even with this rate increase, the state will continue borrowing funds to pay benefits,” said Cynthia Jones, Employment Security Division administrator.

Assuming that the average tax rate remains at the 2 percent threshold, Jones said she expects the loan repayment to end in 2018.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, however, has said that he would support the expiration, or “sunset,” of any recent tax hikes.

The Employment Security Council annually recommends a rate based on the financial position of the unemployment benefits trust fund, the impact of any rate change to businesses and the balance of revenue versus expenditures.

Dale Erquiaga, the governor’s senior adviser, said that he’s unsure whether the governor would want to cut the rate back the lower 2010 rate.

Doing so, however, would most likely push the 2018 projection for loan repayment further into the future.

Meanwhile, the federal government is asking states to begin paying interest on the money they’ve borrowed. The loans began accruing interest this month, and the first payment is due this September. For every year that the states still owe money, the rate of that increase will jump 0.3 percent until the loan is paid off.

The state government was able to defer interest payments last year because of provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. But starting this month, those federal loans begin to accrue interest at a rate of 4 percent, said Mark Mathers, senior deputy state treasurer.

In order to pay the interest, lawmakers could authorize a separate, special tax for that purpose. They could also follow state Treasurer Kate Marshall’s idea to levy a bond that would help pay off the interest, thus softening the burden for state businesses.

The governor, however, has promised again and again that he will not increase taxes. Although businesses would become subject to the federal tax this September, the governor said at a Jan. 19 press briefing that $60 million would be allocated to cover the interest payments through the upcoming biennium.

That money, however, would come out of the general fund. This would leave less money for health care, education and other vital state functions in the general fund.

Regardless of whether the employer-rate decreases or increases and leaving unanswered the question of who picks up the tab for the interest payments, the fact remains: Nevada owes the federal government $645 million.

“That financial cost will be with us for several years,” Erquiaga said. “That will be with us, arguably, for the whole time we’re here.”

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.”

Nevadans Now Being Notified Of Reactivation Of Extended Federal Jobless Benefits

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:20 pm July 30th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevadans who are eligible to have their jobless benefits reactivated can expect letters by next week with instructions, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation (DETR) said today.

The agency began mailing letters Thursday to individuals whose Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) claims are being reinstated following action by Congress last week to extend federal unemployment benefits through November.

One unemployed Nevadan who was happy to hear the news is Carol Tidd of Las Vegas, who saw her unemployment benefits stop in early June. She expects to be eligible retroactively for the extended benefits.

“I’m glad they finally started moving on it,” she said. “It is very important. We’ve been able to keep a roof over our heads and the basics.”

Tidd said she has applied for over 100 jobs so far without success. She has been out of work since January. Her last job was with a gaming company.

The unemployment rate in Las Vegas was 14.5 percent in June.

“I have the education, I’ve got an MBA,” she said. “It is frustrating. I’d rather be employed than have unemployment.”

The agency’s unemployment telephone claim centers will also be open on Saturdays to assist with the anticipated overload of callers filing claims and requesting prior weeks of unemployment benefits, said Cindy Jones, DETR deputy director and Employment Security Division administrator.

“We continue to carefully stage our computer systems to ensure their ability to handle the accurate processing of claims,” she said. “It is important that claimants follow instructions mailed to them. With the cooperation of eligible benefit recipients, we can ensure their benefits are paid as quickly as possible.”

The call centers will be open on July 31, Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

“With the unemployment rate soaring to 14.2 percent, the number of Nevadans seeking benefits continues to be high,” Jones said. “There are now over 88,000 people receiving regular unemployment benefits, and another 40,000 plus who may be eligible for the various types of federally paid extensions recently reactivated by approved legislation.”

Callers are urged to be prepared when making a request for the prior weekly claims to be filed. The following are some tips to remember:

- If you have worked since you stopped receiving your extended benefits, be sure to have all your employment information ready when calling. This includes your most recent two employers.

- You will be asked to certify that you have been seeking work and available to accept work for the weeks you are requesting payment.

- Once your past weekly claims have been processed, you will be able to file your next weekly claim by telephone or on-line at www.expressclaim.org.

- Nevada Unemployment Insurance Telephone Claim Center Telephone Numbers are: Northern Nevada – (775) 684-0350, Southern Nevada – (702) 486-0350, rural Nevada and out-of-state – (888) 890-8211.

Updates with general information can be obtained at www.nvdetr.org.

Nevada GOP Official Blasts Reid For Ad Claiming To Have Saved Teacher’s Job With Stimulus Funds

By Sean Whaley | 5:05 am July 30th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Former Nevada governor and state Republican Committeeman Bob List yesterday called on Sen. Harry Reid to stop running a television ad claiming to have saved a school teacher’s job with federal stimulus funds.

List, in a conference call with media representatives, said the ad is false and attempts to divert attention from Reid’s failure to help bring Nevada out of a major recession.

“He didn’t save her job at all,” List said. “That is a false statement. He should acknowledge it and the ad should come down.”

Reid should focus on Nevada’s record high and nation-leading unemployment rate, which hit 14.2 percent in June, List said.

“The reality is, since the stimulus package was adopted on Feb. 18 of last year, 60,000 additional people in the private sector have lost their jobs in Nevada,” he said. “We now have nearly 200,000 people out of work here and you’d think that he might be addressing that problem instead of making a false claim and a boast of saving this teacher’s job when in fact he didn’t.”

The Reid campaign rejected List’s claims as uninformed and questioned GOP challenger Sharron Angle’s commitment to education.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Wednesday published a story about the ad, saying the teacher in question did not have her job saved from the stimulus funding approved by Congress and the President last year because the school at which she worked did not receive any recovery money.

The 30-second ad shows Ronzone Elementary School teacher Bridget Zick of Las Vegas talking about the fear of losing her job and how Reid saved Nevada teaching jobs.

The story prompted a strong response from Reid campaign spokesman Jon Summers, who criticized the Review-Journal story for being, “erroneous and reckless.”

The claim that the school didn’t get any recovery funds, “fundamentally misunderstands the nature of disbursement of the stimulus dollars and the way educators’ jobs were saved,” he said.

“The reality is that stimulus funds were distributed by district, and the Clark County School District received funds that saved an estimated 1,400 jobs,” Summers said.

Thomas Mitchell, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said: “We stand by the fairness of our news reporting.”

List defended the Review-Journal story as accurate and said it is Reid who has historically over time distorted facts and misrepresented reality.

Assemblyman Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, also weighed in on the dispute as a member of the Ways and Means Committee and former president of the Nevada State PTA.

“What is missing from this discussion is this: If we hadn’t received the federal stimulus funds we had three choices left, which was fire 3,500 teachers, raise taxes, or a combination of the two,” he said. “It really is that simple. The funds Nevada received avoided a huge layoff, or an equally huge tax increase. Whether Bridget Zick would have been one of the 3,500 would not have mattered to the parents whose children were no longer being taught by 3,499 other teachers.”

Reid campaign spokesman Kelly Steele said in response to List’s comments: “It’s simply irrefutable that 3,500 education workers weren’t laid off because of stimulus funding that Sen. Reid was instrumental in securing.

“The fact that Mr. List appears to have even less understanding of how stimulus funds are distributed than the shoddy journalism he cites in the Review-Journal is disappointing, but not surprising since he’s advocating for Sharron Angle, who opposes all public education funding and believes we should abolish the Department of Education.”

List said Reid should focus on Nevada’s record-setting unemployment rate.

False claims by Reid aren’t helping, he said.

“This guy would take credit for the fact that Hoover Dam hasn’t washed out if he thought he could get away with it,” List said.

Reid is locked in a battle with Angle in his bid for another term in the Senate. The race is one of the mostly closely watched contests in the nation.

___

Audio clips:

Bob List says Nevada has lost jobs since stimulus funding was approved:

072910List1 :32 fact he didn’t.”

List says Nevada faces major economic crisis under Reid’s watch:

072910List2 :13 away with it.”

List says Reid has not used his power to help Nevada:

072910List3 :27 his power effectively.”

Entire List statement:

072910List4 5:00