According to the latest statistics from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates were lower in August in 13 states, higher in 3 states, and stable in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Eleven states had jobless rate decreases from a year earlier and 39 states and the District had little or no change. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from July at 3.9 percent but was 0.5 percentage point lower than in August 2017.
The state’s headline or U-3 unemployment rate decreased by another 0.1 percentage point in August 2018 to 4.5 percent, the lowest rate seen since July 2007, according to the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s (DETR) August 2018 economic report. Unemployment in all age groups is on the downward trend, with the youngest workers still seeing the highest levels of unemployment.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits decreased by 10.7 percent in August, relative to the same month last year, at 9,580 claims. Average unemployment duration has fallen to 13.3 weeks, down from 13.5 weeks a year ago. The exhaustion rate stands at 33.5 percent, 2.9 percentage points lower than last August; a record low since March 2007.
Overall job growth is up 44,800 jobs and grew by 3.3 percent year-over-year. That puts Nevada tied for second in the nation when it comes to the rate of job gains, behind Utah at 3.5 percent. Over the month, seasonally-adjusted employment grew by 1,200 jobs to 1,389,400. Three-quarters of that job growth came from the public sector.
The manufacturing industry’s year-to-date average employment growth is experiencing record highs and is up 14 percent (6,500 jobs) over the same period last year. Year-to-date, the construction industry has seen the largest employment gains over the same period last year, increasing by 7,300 jobs or 8.9 percent.
DETR’s report also notes the state’s average weekly wages, recently released for the first quarter of 2018, averaged $977 during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to $931 during the same period last year, an increase of $46, or 4.9 percent, year-over-year. Additionally, wages have increased by an average of approximately 12.7 percent since 2014. During that same time, the increase in consumer prices or inflation, has grown at an average rate of 5.9 percent, suggesting that wages are growing in “real” terms. However, despite recent gains, real wages have still not reached pre-recession levels.