Nevada’s unemployment rate falls below 5 percent in February
Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent in February, the first time it has been below 5 percent since November 2007. The jobless rate ticked down one-tenth of a percentage point from January, from 5 percent.
“This is a watershed moment in our state’s recovery efforts,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Job levels are at an all-time high. The number of employers is greater than ever before. Our private sector growth is the fourth-highest in the nation with small businesses fueling our revival by contributing nearly 100,000 of the 213,000 new jobs since late-2010. We knew Nevadans could battle through the most difficult of times, but today’s announcement exceeds even my own optimistic goals. This is a great day for the entire state of Nevada.”
February represents the 72nd consecutive month of year-over-year declines in the unemployment rate, down 1.2 percentage points, relative to February of last year, said Bill Anderson, chief economist for Nevada’s Research and Analysis Bureau of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
Additionally, February saw a seasonally-adjusted increase of 3,100 jobs, relative to January. The construction sector continued to lead the state in terms of percentage growth, year-to-date, up 7.4 percent relative to the first two months of last year. This equates to an additional 5,400 construction jobs in the state. Leisure and hospitality employment experienced the largest nominal growth this month, adding 8,700 jobs to payrolls year-to-date, for a growth rate of 2.6 percent.
“With the upward movement in employment this month, we are not surprised to see the unemployment rate fall below 5 percent,” Anderson said. “Overall trends in employment have been encouraging during the last several years. The Silver State has witnessed several positive indicators of economic growth. The number of employers in the state is at a record high, while initial and continued unemployment insurance claims have both been trending down and are currently at post-recession lows. This suggests fewer layoffs and a tighter labor market.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.