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Nevada’s unemployment rate dips in December as job numbers rise

Employment numbers rose significantly in Nevada last year — a sign that the state is continuing to recover from the swift economic fallout spurred by the pandemic.

The state added 94,700 jobs since December 2020, an annual increase of 7.4 percent, bringing the total number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs to 1,372,200. While the gains were welcomed by state officials, employment still remains below typical levels especially in the accommodation and food services industry, according to a Friday jobs report from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

“This report shows a continued rebound in employment growth in Nevada with the state adding 3,700 jobs in December,” DETR Chief Economist David Schmidt said in a press release. “The state’s labor market is continuing its recovery as we emerge from the COVID recession, particularly in the industries that were hit hardest by the pandemic.”

DETR also reported the unemployment rate for December was 6.4 percent, down 0.5 percent from November’s unemployment rate of 6.9 percent and a year-over-year decline of 1.8 percent.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement that he was pleased with December’s numbers, adding that it highlighted the state’s ongoing recovery from the pandemic-fueled recession.

“With Nevada continuing to add jobs, and unemployment leveling off, we must remain vigilant as the state continues its recovery from the pandemic and the potential impacts to the economy and labor force,” said Sisolak.

The two metro areas that saw job gains in December was Las Vegas and Reno, according to DETR. Las Vegas added 6,100 jobs, up 0.6 percent, and Reno reported an additional 1,100 jobs last month, a 0.4 percent increase. Meanwhile, Carson City remained flat adding no new jobs during December.

DETR said several industries now have employment levels at or above pre-recession peaks such as transportation, warehousing and utilities with 89,300 jobs, which is more than 12 percent above its 2019 peak. Other industries with more employees than before the recession includes professional and business services, retail, and finance and insurance.

But employment in the accommodation and food services industry is still down more than 65,000 jobs compared with 322,500 jobs in February 2019.

Nevada’s employment office said that even though the labor market has shown an overall improvement, “there are still significant hurdles in achieving a full recovery in the state, especially the uncertainty around new COVID-19 variants and their potential impacts on businesses and the labor force.”

Contact Subrina Hudson at shudson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter. McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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