Manager for Nevada JobConnect says country catching up with Nevada

The national unemployment rate remained steady at 5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The average hourly earnings also increased by 6 cents in July to $16.13.

"My take on this is I feel the country is now catching up with Nevada," said Tina Grefrath, center manager for Nevada JobConnect in Carson City. "We have seen wages rising and unemployment continuing to drop. Another trend in Nevada has been for benefits to increase because of the competition for good workers here."

The number of those employed, 7.5 million, is about 700,000 less than a year earlier. The jobless rate was at 5.5 percent in July 2004.

Nevada job numbers for July will not be available until mid-August, but statewide the June unemployment rate was at 4 percent. In Carson City it hit 4.3 percent. Job growth in Carson City also hit 3.1 percent.

Over the year, both average hourly and weekly earnings grew nationwide by 2.7 percent, according to the bureau.

Despite news that hourly wages rose slightly in July, some are worried that the increases are not enough to keep up with inflation.

Take Charge America, a nonprofit organization that tackles issues of budget and financial counseling, reported that the Consumer Price Index shows inflation increasing at around 3.1 percent a year in 2005, compared to the 2.7 earnings growth.

"Taking all these factors into consideration, a typical family is facing extra costs of nearly $500 a month and no significant increase, or even a loss in real wages," the organization said in its July report.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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