Nevada Closes 2017 With Strong Job Growth, Stable Unemployment

Posted on by & filed under Nevada by the Numbers Blog.

Nevada’s labor market indicators closed out 2017 on a high note, according to a new release from the state’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation (DETR). December saw a seasonally adjusted gain of 7,600 jobs from November, and 40,900 added over the course of the year. Both the private and public sectors outperformed in December:

In 2017, job gains were recorded in almost all industries. In addition to leisure/hospitality and construction, industries such as professional services, healthcare, trade/transportation, and manufacturing also made notable contributions to the Silver State’s job base. The information sector did see a slight decline in 2017.

At the end of the year, Nevada’s unemployment rate came in at five percent, compared to 13.7 percent at the height of the recession. The unemployment rate averaged 4.9 percent for the entire year, down from 5.7 percent in 2016. The number of long-term unemployed in Nevada peaked at 92,900 during the recession, and now stands at 15,100.

Racial disparities remain, though they’re narrowing.The black unemployment rate is 8.2 percent, while the rate for Hispanics stands at 5.2 percent and whites at 4.6 percent. Also, the unemployment rate for veterans was 4.9 percent in December, down from 14.7 percent at the height of the recession but rising over the last half of 2017 to almost meet the state average.

Recently, downward pressure on the jobless rate has been limited due to an expanding labor force. As potential job-seekers become more confident in their employment prospects, large numbers are entering the labor force in search of work, which acts to prop up the unemployment rate. However, labor force participation continues to fall, and at a faster rate than the US as a whole.

The Silver State had the second-fastest growing population in the nation in 2017. Population growth totaled 60,000 for the year.

How far have we come? Here’s DETR’s Recovery Scorecard for the fourth quarter of 2017: