Jobless rate dips to 4.7% in Elko; Northern Nevada again faring better than the south
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Unemployment continued to improve across Nevada in August, with the northern half of the state once again trending far better than the south, highlighted by a state-high jobless rate of 15.5% in Clark County.
Nye County was second highest with a 9.6% jobless rate for August, according to region-by-region statistics released Tuesday by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation.
The stats expounded on the jobless figures Nevada DETR released Sept. 16 for the entire state, reporting a 13.2% unemployment for August, down 2 percentage points from July’s mark of 15.2%.
As has been the case since businesses began slowly reopening this spring and summer in the wake of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mandated closure orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Nevada statistical areas are faring much better, ranging from as low as 4.7% in Elko County and 5.3% in Churchill County to 7.2% in Washoe County, 7.3% in Douglas and Carson City, and 8% in Lyon.
Dave Schmidt, chief economist for Nevada DETR, said Carson City added 300 jobs in August, two-thirds of that total in trade, transportation and utilities. Carson has 23,578 employed and 1,856 seeking work.
The Reno metropolitan statistical area gained 1,900 jobs in August, 900 of them in the government sector. Washoe County reported 226,427 employed by the end of August, with 17,628 out of work.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, had 932,351 employed and 170,575 out of work as of the end of August; the region did add 5,900 jobs in August compared to July.
Schmidt said the impact of the coronavirus is most severe in Clark County because of Southern Nevada’s huge reliance on hospitality and tourism.
Meanwhile, significant growth in mining categories drove the Elko reporting area’s jobless rate down to just 4.7% in August, with 24,247 working and 1,196 looking for work.
Neighboring Eureka County, which also relies heavily on the mining industry, had a rate of just 3.9%. There are 861 working in Eureka and just 35 unemployed.
“If you’re going to produce roughly 80,000 ounces (of gold) a year at $800 an ounce … and gold is at $1,900 or $2,000 per ounce, that’s going to create a tremendous amount of cash flow.”