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Nevada jobless rate highest in U.S. for 2nd straight month

Nevada’s unemployment rate remained the highest in the nation last month, officials said Friday.

The state unemployment rate of 7.7. percent in August matched the rate in July and led the country for the second straight month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nevada’s June unemployment rate of 7.8 percent trailed only Connecticut and New Mexico at 7.9 percent. The Silver State’s unemployment rate has been at or near the top among 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia since the pandemic took hold nationally in March 2020.

“(Nevada’s rate is) likely to remain one of the highest rates in the nation and reflecting the long road left to a complete recovery in the state’s labor market,” said David Schmidt, chief economist at Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The next-highest August unemployment rates belonged to California at 7.5 percent and New York at 7.4 percent as the country recovers from the COVID-19 recession. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in August.

Nevada’s unemployment rate decreased by 6.8 percentage points from August 2020 to August 2021 to tie Rhode Island for the second-largest year-over-year drop.

Nevada added nearly 12,000 jobs during August to bring the state’s total jobs to 1.35 million, an increase of 103,000 from August 2020, the state employment department reported. A release said the 11,900 jobs increase in August from July “is near the high end of the COVID recovery period” and was a bigger bump than the 4,800 jobs added in July.

The August data represents a first look at Nevada’s economic response to the COVID-19 delta variant, which poses a threat to the recovery, a release said.

Leisure and hospitality jobs grew by 3,900 workers to lead the sector’s growth in August, followed by construction with 3,000 jobs, according to the employment department. The Las Vegas metropolitan area added about 7,000 jobs in August, while Reno added 900 jobs and Carson City added 300 jobs.

Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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