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Nevada’s jobless rate holds steady at 7.1 percent

Nevada’s jobless rate hasn’t budged in 2015.

Unemployment was stalled at 7.1 percent for the fourth straight month in April, the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Wednesday.

It’s not that job growth has slackened: Employers added a seasonally adjusted 12,800 positions from March to April, for the best month-to-month gain since April 2005. Construction and leisure and hospitality posted the biggest jumps.

But the labor pool has expanded at the same time, canceling out some of those job increases and helping keep the rate even.

The work force grew by 5,000 people from March to April.

Year over year, the state’s jobs base was up 41,400, while the work force grew by 20,300. The jobless rate was 8.1 percent in April 2014.

“While it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions concerning the impacts of an expanding labor force in Nevada on the state’s unemployment rate, suffice it to say that it has acted to prevent more consistent downward pressure on joblessness in the Silver State,” said Bill Anderson, the employment department’s chief economist.

Anderson forecasted job growth of 45,000 in 2015, plus 52,000 new jobs in 2016 and 60,000 in 2017.

“The underlying trend of steady, broad-based and sustainable growth is far more encouraging than an employment spike in a single month,” Anderson said.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics hadn’t released other states’ April data at press time, but Nevada still ranked No. 1 in the nation for joblessness in March. The national rate averaged 5.4 percent in April.

The employment department will release the Las Vegas unemployment rate next week.

Contact Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com. Find @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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