Jobless rate remains at record pace

Nevada’s jobless rate reached a record for the 14th straight month in August, and observers say even the coming holiday season probably won’t yield significant hiring activity in the state.

Unemployment in the Silver State rose to an all-time high of 14.4 percent, up from 14.3 percent in July, according to numbers Monday from the state Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation. In the Las Vegas Valley, joblessness edged down slightly, to 14.7 percent, after hitting a record 14.8 percent in July. Include discouraged workers who’ve quit looking for jobs and underemployed part-timers who would rather work full time, and both state and local jobless rates surge past 20 percent, economists say.

Nevada has led the nation in joblessness since May, when it ousted Michigan from the top spot. The nation’s jobless rate was 9.6 percent in August.

"For all intents and purposes, we’ve been bouncing around the bottom for the past few months," said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the employment department. "I don’t see anything on the horizon that will serve as a catalyst to get us back onto a growth trajectory. I think the best we can hope for is a sideways movement."

Added Brian Gordon, a principal in local research and consulting firm Applied Analysis: "The economic climate in Nevada and Southern Nevada remains challenged. There’s no question business activity is strained, and the environment is a difficult one to maneuver."

Nevadans shouldn’t expect the traditionally brisk hiring months of October and November to spur big improvements in the hiring climate, observers said.

The bad news took its place as a continuing subtext in the U.S. Senate race, with Republican Sharron Angle renewing her criticism of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid on the economy.

"Harry Reid is a failed leader," Angle said of the Senate majority leader. "Harry Reid can try to shirk responsibility, but he is in charge. Nothing Harry Reid is doing is working, and his own state is paying the heaviest price."

Reid expressed frustration with the economy "and how long it’s taking for things to turn around." He said bills by Democrats, such as the small-business lending fund the Senate passed last week, will create jobs.

"While some may cheer a bad economy in an effort to score cheap political points, Nevadans are fighters who have no patience for that," Reid said. "I will keep fighting with them to create jobs and get our economy back on track, and I won’t stop until every Nevadan who wants a job has one."

The newest numbers show evidence of weaker-than-normal hiring through most of 2010. Adjusted seasonally for the first eight months of 2010, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector has fallen by 1,300 jobs, which means 2010’s seasonal increase runs below normal, the employment department’s numbers show.

And despite the National Bureau of Economic Research’s declaration Monday that the recession ended in June 2009, Anderson said, don’t expect shoppers to boost retailers’ fortunes noticeably in November and December.

"We’ll see an uptick in seasonal hiring, as we almost always do, but we just don’t see the strength on the consumer side to make this a really positive holiday shopping season," he said. "What uptick we do see in hiring will be constrained."

Besides, the most robust seasonal hiring couldn’t single-handedly overcome Nevada’s recession-era job losses.

Sure, the construction sector added 700 jobs statewide in August, while professional and business services such as law and accounting firms created 500 positions in the month. But the 700 posts generated in the restaurant sector? A matching 700 cuts inside hotel-casinos canceled out that hiring activity. In all, private companies added 2,300 jobs year over year in August, but the public sector slashed 3,000 jobs, including 1,900 Census positions, in the same period.

Overall, Nevada’s employers pared 7,000 jobs from July to August and 45,000 jobs year over year in August. Since Nevada’s employment peaked in May 2007, the Silver State has shed 123,300 jobs, including 92,600 positions in Las Vegas. Statewide, 57,300 Nevadans lacked jobs and were seeking work in May 2007, compared with 192,000 jobless Nevadans in August. In Las Vegas, 40,600 were unemployed in spring 2007, while 142,000 locals were looking for work in August.

The state’s economic climate remains weak enough that a smaller labor force couldn’t nudge state jobless numbers downward in August.

More than 10,000 Nevadans abandoned the state’s labor force from July to August, either because they were too discouraged to continue seeking work or because they decamped Nevada for greener pastures in other states. Year over year, Nevada lost 25,200 workers, or 1.8 percent of its work force. Nearly 13,000 of those workers lived in Las Vegas. And while a shrinking labor force can sometimes reduce unemployment rates, that didn’t happen in August, as job losses remained high enough to counterbalance much of the labor flight, Anderson said.

Gordon said he expects the unemployment rate to remain in a "relatively tight range" through the holidays. News of the recession’s ending won’t make a big difference in hiring confidence among local business owners and managers, he said because that announcement "is just one data point of many."

"It doesn’t have a correlation to day-to-day operations for businesses throughout the state," Gordon added. "For many business owners in Southern Nevada, the environment hasn’t changed much over the past couple of years. They’re still dealing with reduced consumer-spending levels, and people continue to tighten their wallets overall."

What’s more, even if companies add seasonal positions, workers might re-enter the labor force in larger numbers to snap up those jobs, Gordon said. More workers chasing those jobs could push up unemployment, or at least keep jobless rates from declining.

Some of Nevada’s biggest employers, including MGM Resorts International and Harrah’s Entertainment, didn’t respond to a request for comments on their seasonal hiring plans.

But at least one local staffing executive predicted a solid holiday-jobs market in Southern Nevada.

Donna Lattanzio, president of Millenium Staffing Services in Las Vegas, said orders for the temporary workers her company places have jumped in recent weeks, especially for convention-related labor and skilled tradesmen such as plumbers, carpenters and painters. Based on the increased activity, Lattanzio said, seasonal hiring will run a little above average and will easily best 2009’s performance.

But here’s the rub: That hiring activity won’t focus on permanent workers.

"Many companies are reluctant to take on full-time, permanent staff, so they will be using temporary employees," she said.

Should the upcoming hiring season turn in a lackluster performance, don’t fret: Experts said the worst is past, and though noticeable job growth isn’t likely before mid-2011, the employment market in Nevada shouldn’t continue to deteriorate at eyebrow-raising levels.

The officials who compile Nevada’s jobless data point out that the downward spiral of the state’s labor market has eased substantially over a year ago. Employment statewide is down 1.8 percent from August 2009, a significantly smaller decline than the 10.6 percent falloff the state experienced from 2008 to 2009. Still, they said, a weak economic outlook will likely hamper any major improvements in the Nevada job market for the foreseeable future.

Anderson said the employment department forecasts peak unemployment statewide of 14.5 percent to 15 percent in the coming months.

Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault contributed to this report. Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512.

Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, an in-home digital companion and monitor.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, HAPPIE Home technology, an in-home digital companion and monitor designed for unpaid family caregivers that gives personalized alerts, messages and reminders. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Holiday parades help bring shoppers to Downtown Summerlin
Sports Town USA floor manager Angela Gardonio talks about the work that goes into the Downtown Summerlin holiday parades and how they benefit her and other businesses there.
Final vote on CG Technology
Final commission vote on the $2 million settlement for CG Technology.
Happie Home Startup Establishing Headquarters In Las Vegas
Digital companion startup company Happie Home is establishing its headquarters in Las Vegas after receiving tax abatements from the Governor's Office of Economic Development on Nov. 15. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center
A Facebook-branded space inside of Macy’s at the Fashion Show shopping center will showcase 13 small businesses in November and December and seven in January. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
T-Mobile uses ticketing data to plan for event
T-Mobile Executive Director of Arena Operations explains how ticket sales data and demographics help plan staffing, vendors, parking and operations for an event.
Costco opens its doors in southwest Henderson
Costco has opened its fifth Las Vegas-area location near the intersection of St. Rose Parkway and Amigo Street. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas strip mall and office park
The Krausz Cos. and WG Group bought a strip mall and an office park in Las Vegas for nearly $80 million total. They acquired a portion of Tropicana Beltway Center in the southwest valley for $59 million. They also acquired the Westbay office complex in the Las Vegas Medical District. The buyers are former owners of The Gramercy, a once-mothballed mixed-use project in the Las Vegas suburbs. They sold The Gramercy in phases for more than $100 million.
Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry
Celebrity tattoo artist and business owner Mario Barth talks about the growth of the tattoo industry at The World of Tattoo industry trade show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas
$7.5M Las Vegas pot dispensary opens near Las Vegas Strip
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. It has entertainment including an interactive floor and floating orbs. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars CEO to step down next year
Caesars Entertainment Corp. CEO Mark Frissora will leave the casino company in February. Frissora has been CEO since July 2015. He was named CEO right after Caesars' operating company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Caesars Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy protection in October 2017 Before Caesars, Frissora spent seven years as chairman and CEO of Naples, Fla.,-based Hertz He led the consolidation of the rental-car industry through Hertz‘s acquisition of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
Planet 13 in Las Vegas adds twist to marijuana dispensary look
Planet 13, which bills itself as one of the largest dispensaries in the world, opened to the public Thursday. The dispensary is located near the intersection of Desert Inn Road and Sammy Davis Jr. Drive, near Trump International, in Las Vegas. Planet 13 has plans in the future for a coffee shop, a tasting room for marijuana-infused beer and wine, a lounge for consuming marijuana on site if that is legalized and space for food.
Caesars Entertainment opening 2 resorts in Dubai
Cove Beach will open on Meraas’ Bluewaters Island in Dubai in November and Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai will open in December. (Caesars Entertainment)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like