Nevada’s jobless rate improves to 13.2% in August as economy slowly reopens
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s slow economic recovery continued in August with the Silver State’s unemployment rate dropping to 13.2% for the month, according to statistics released Sept. 16 by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
That’s an improvement of 2 percentage points from July’s jobless rate of 15.2% — and a massive improvement from the doldrums of the pandemic in April, when Nevada led the nation with a 28.2% unemployment rate.
Nevada’s total employment level is 1,289,800 after adding 6,500 jobs in August, according to DETR’s August 2020 economic report.
“I’m encouraged by this month’s numbers and am happy to see that employment has increased and the number of unemployed has decreased in the state,” Director Elisa Cafferata said in a statement. “There is more work to do to help Nevadans get back to work, and we’re committed to doing our part.”
Despite the August totals showing a slow recovery, all told the state has seen a decrease of 133,600 jobs since August 2019, when the jobless rate hovered around 4%.
Meanwhile, Nevada’s August jobless rate is still much higher than the national rate of 8.4%.
“Nevada added jobs for the fourth straight month in August, though with few changes in the state’s reopening plan, the gain was lower than in May, June, and July,” David Schmidt, Chief Economist for DETR, said in a statement. “Employment continues to increase across many industries with trade, transportation and utilities adding the most jobs. The number of unemployed remains high but continues to improve.”
Specifically, trade, transportation and utilities added the most jobs (4,500) from July to August, according to DETR.
Meanwhile, leisure and hospitality (-15.9%) jobs are down the most since the same time last year.
Of note, according to DETR, August’s 13.2% mark means Nevada’s unemployment rate has surpassed its lowest point of the Great Recession, which peaked at 13.7% over a decade ago.
“The challenges posed by the pandemic continue to weigh on the labor market, and the response to COVID-19 by businesses and the public continues to evolve,” Schmidt stated. “Although the labor market continues to improve, we still have a long road ahead for a full recovery.”
Concerned that a spate of COVID-19-related lawsuits could bankrupt businesses, members of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce implored the state’s congressional delegation during the chamber’s annual D.C. retreat to pass a federal liability protection measure.