February unemployment rate ticks down slightly to 8.3%

Nevada’s unemployment rate continued to improve slightly in February as the state added 2,400 jobs, according to new monthly data released March 25 by the Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate is now down to 8.3%, with 153,500 fewer people working than in February 2020.

It marks the 10th consecutive month of employment growth for the Silver State since recording a record-high 29.5% mark in April 2020, during the depths of mandatory business closures and restrictions ordered by Gov. Steve Sisolak in response to the pandemic.

“Accommodation and food services added back the most jobs over the month, with the unadjusted gains concentrated in food services, which rose by 2,700 compared to 400 in accommodation,” David Schmidt, DETR’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Construction employment rose sharply as well, particularly in the Las Vegas area, which is not uncommon given that construction has added employment in February for the past nine years.”

While the slight uptick from January to February is encouraging, Schmidt said, the problem continues to be the Las Vegas Metropolitan Statistical Area, where 145,600 of the aforementioned 153,500 lost jobs are located, a 13.8% decrease, 
according to DETR's February report.

The Carson City MSA by comparison is down just 1.9%, or 600 jobs, compared to February 2020; the Reno MSA, meanwhile, is down 2.7%, or 6,700 jobs, from a year ago.

“Broadly, the (statewide trend in February remains largely flat, and is similar to what we saw in January, with ongoing significant disruption highly concentrated in the Las Vegas area,” he said. “Recent news that vaccine eligibility is expanding to the general population is encouraging, as is news that a large trade show has received approval for an in-person convention in early June.”


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