Jobless rate on track for record

As the state’s jobless rate sped toward a record in March, thousands of Nevadans gave up on finding jobs and left the work force, new numbers revealed Friday.

It’s the first month since the recession’s December 2007 start in which state economists observed a noticeable number of residents quitting the job hunt. Nearly 14,000 Nevadans dropped out of the labor force from February to March, according to the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. The trend helped cap work force expansion: The labor pool grew 2.8 percent year-over-year in March, down from year-over-year growth of 4.5 percent in February.

People who opt out of the work force don’t count in unemployment tabulations, so the rising ranks of the discouraged should ease growth in joblessness. But even with the decline in job seekers, the Silver State’s unemployment rate jumped nearly half a percentage point from February to March, going from 10 percent to 10.4 percent. Nevada’s unemployment rate was almost double the level of March 2008, when the share of residents without work came in at 5.8 percent.

Unemployment in Las Vegas rose from 5.6 percent to 10.4 percent year-over-year in March.

March’s joblessness was the highest the state has seen since March 1983, and it’s nearly two percentage points above the national rate of 8.5 percent.

The record for joblessness in Nevada hit 10.7 percent in December 1982. The low of 4.2 percent came in March 2006.

Experts said Friday that Nevada’s unemployment will almost certainly beat the historical high.

“Over the next several months, we’re likely to see the worst of this downturn,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department of employment. “I fully expect us to surpass that 10.7 percent mark in the near term, though not necessarily next month or the month after.”

Keith Schwer, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said he “wouldn’t at all be surprised” if unemployment in Nevada reached 11 percent. He said he expects joblessness to continue upward into 2010 even if the recession eases before 2009’s end. Improvements in unemployment typically lag economic revival, partly because companies stay cautious about hiring in the earliest phases of recovery, and partly because discouraged workers who left the labor force return and boost a market’s share of unemployed.

Job loss visited virtually every sector of the state’s economy in March, sparing only mining and the combined category of education and health services. In Las Vegas, the construction sector dropped 13,500 jobs, or 14.3 percent of its work force, year-over-year in March. Manufacturing lost 1,600 positions, or 6.2 percent of its base. Employers in leisure and hospitality sliced 15,900 jobs from their payrolls, for a reduction of 5.8 percent. Finance had 2,500 fewer workers, for a job loss of 5.2 percent. The jobs base declined 8.9 percent, or 10,200 positions, among professional and business services such as accounting firms and architecture studios. And government employment shrank by 0.4 percent, or 400 jobs.

Joblessness wasn’t so evenly distributed regionally.

Anderson divided Nevada into three geographic categories with differing levels of unemployment.

Counties heavy on suburban bedroom communities have suffered the most, because they relied the most on new-home construction. Unemployment in Nye County, home to Pahrump, reached 13 percent in March. In Lyon County, near Reno, joblessness skyrocketed to 15.3 percent.

Metropolitan areas such as Las Vegas and Reno-Sparks, which rely on consumer spending to drive economic growth, posted the second-worst overall performance, Anderson said. Joblessness in Reno-Sparks was 11.2 percent in March.

The recession has largely spared rural counties, where mining prevails. In Elko, unemployment actually fell from February to March, dropping from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent, though Elko’s unemployment was below 5 percent a year earlier.

Still, as bleak as Friday’s report looked, long-term job formation in Nevada remains positive.

The Silver State lost 67,400 jobs year-over-year in March, but that figure tracks well below the 250,000 or so jobs Nevada added from 2002 to 2007. The jobs base in Las Vegas grew 27 percent between 2002 and 2007; subtract the 5.2 percent of positions it dropped in the 12 months prior to March, and the city can still claim a jobs gain of more than 20 percent since 2002.

Nevada held onto its position in the top 10 states for unemployment nationally, ranking No. 7. California ranked No. 4, with a jobless rate of 11.2 percent. Michigan led the nation in unemployment, at 12.6 percent.

The employment department’s analysis also shows the current recession has hurt the Silver State more substantially than did the recession of 1981 and 1982.

In the 15 months following a July 1981 peak in the business cycle, the number of jobs in Nevada declined 2.7 percent. In the 15 months following the current cycle’s high point of December 2007, the state’s job count has dropped by more than 7 percent.

Contact reporter Jennifer Robison at or 702-380-4512.

VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System hosts Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ
The 4th Annual Veterans Day Car Show and BBQ is held in celebration of Veterans Day at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System Medical Center in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wildfires in Southern California
Wildfires hit Ventura County, Calif., on Nov. 9, 2018. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dedication of Nevada's Battle Born memorial
The state of Nevada on Friday dedicated its Battle Born memorial honoring 895 state residents who have died in America’s wars.
Las Vegas police and Sunrise Children's Hospital hope to prevent infant deaths
The Metropolitan Police Department and Sunrise Children's Hospital held a press conference to get the message out on preventable infant deaths attributed to "co-sleeping" and other unsafe sleeping habits. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No serious injuries after car hits tree in south Las Vegas
One person reported minor injuries but wasn’t hospitalized after a Wednesday morning crash in the south valley.
Nellis Air Force Base keeps airmen fed
Nellis Air Force Bass airmen have delicious and healthy food items, and a variety of dining facilities to choose from. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Las Vegas police determined that a suspicious package found Monday morning at a central valley post office was not a threat.
Suspicious package found at central Las Vegas post office
Police evacuated the area around the Garside Station post office early Monday morning near Oakey and Decatur boulevards.
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
With husband's passing, family in limbo for workers' comp claim
Meredith Tracy's husand, Russell Tracy, died more than a year ago on his first day working for a new company when he fell 22 feet into a manhole that was not properly safeguarded. His employer was fined $82,000 in penalties for unsafe practices, but the company has denied her workers' compensation claim, leaving her with no compensation since the death. Rachel Aston Las Vegas Review-Journal @rookie__rae
Las Vegas family shares flu warning
Carlo and Brenda Occhipinti lost their son, Carlo Jr., or “Junior,” to the flu last year.
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Stadust Raceway
Author Randall Cannon shares an anecdote about Dan Blocker, who played Hoss Cartwright on the TV show "Bonanza," and the actor's passion for auto racing at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas during the 1960s. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal.)
Project Neon 85 percent complete
On Wednesday morning Oct. 31, Interstate 15 northbound lane restrictions were removed opening up Exit 41 to Charleston Blvd. On Thursday Nov. 1, Interstate 15 southbound lane restrictions were removed. The new southbound off-ramp to Sahara Ave. and Highland Dr. also opened Thursday, November 1. With Project Neon 85% finished the flow of traffic on Interstate 15 has substantially diminished. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Girl killed after jumping from bridge onto 215 Beltway in Henderson
Eastbound lanes of the 215 Beltway are shut down by the Nevada Highway Patrol after a female juvenile jumped from the 215 overpass at Stephanie and was struck by a FedEx tractor trailer. Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Vegas88s
Kristallnacht story
An interview with 94-year-old Holocaust survivor Alexander Kuechel who survived seven concentration camps and didn’t leave Germany until after World War II was over. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
1 dead in central Las Vegas crash
An early Wednesday morning crash left at least one person dead and another injured. The crash was reported just around 3 a.m. at the intersection of Flamingo Road and Swenson Street. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash, one of which caught fire. Debris was scattered across the intersection as police combed the area as they investigated the scene. Flamingo is blocked in both directions between Swenson and Cambridge Street. Northbound Swenson is blocked at the intersection.
Richard Knoeppel named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year
Richard Knoeppel, an architecture design instructor at the Advanced technologies Academy, named the 2018 Nevada Teacher of the Year on Monday, Oct. 29, 2018. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mojave Poppy Bees
(Zach Portman/University of Minnesota Department of Entomology) Male Mojave poppy bees exhibit territorial fighting behavior. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the bee, found only in Clark County, to be added to the endangered species list.
Clark County Schools announce random searches
Clark County School District middle and high school students will be subject to random searches for weapons under a new initiative to combat the wave of guns found on campus. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss React to Dennis Hof's Death
Ron Jeremy and Heidi Fleiss speak about their friend and prominent brothel owner Dennis Hof's death at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof has died
Nevada brothel owner and Republican candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 36, Dennis Hof has died. He was 72. Nye County Sherriff's office confirmed. Hof owned Love Ranch brothel, located in Crystal, Nevada.
Las Vegas police investigate suspicious package at shopping center
Las Vegas police evacuated a southeast valley shopping center at Flamingo and Sandhill roads early Tuesday morning while they investigated reports of a suspicious package. (Max Michor/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Las Vegas Metro hosts the K-9 Trials
The Las Vegas Metro K-9 Trials returns to the Orleans Arena to benefit the Friends For Las Vegas Police K-9 group.
Kingman residents love their little town
Residents of Kingman, Ariz. talk about how they ended up living in the Route 66 town, and what they love about their quiet community. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Service at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Twelve unclaimed veterans are honored at Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City in Oct. 9, 2018. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas house prices reach highest level in 11 years
Las Vegas house prices are rising But so is the amount of available homes on the market Still, properties priced below $300,000 are selling fast And September was the first time since June 2007 that the median house price reached the $300,000 mark Las Vegas home prices have been rising at one of the fastest rates in the country over the past year Recent data show the market is now less affordable than the national average
National Night Out
About 100 Summerlin residents gathered at Park Centre Dr. in Summerlin on Tuesday for National Night Out. Lt. Joshua Bitsko with Las Vegas Metro, played with 3-year-old David who was dressed as a police officer. Face painting, fire truck tours and more kept kids busy as parents roamed behind them. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rural homeless issue comes to a head in Pahrump
On Sept. 12, Pahrump sheriff deputies told residents of a homeless encampment on private property that they had 15 minutes to vacate and grab their belongings. That decision might face some legal consequences. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance blood drive on October 1
A blood drive was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on the one year anniversary of the Oct. 1 shooting. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remembrance Lights memorial unveiled at St. Rose hospital
A dedication ceremony was held at St. Rose to unveil a memorial and to read the names of those who died on October 1, a year ago. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like