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Construction Continues Job Gains as Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Ticks Up

Job growth in Nevada’s construction industry continued its strength in May, with a double-digit increase in employment over the past year, according to the most recent employment report from the Nevada Department of Education, Training and Rehabilitation. The construction job gains contrast with the seasonally-adjusted loss of 3,800 jobs overall in Nevada in May, which pushed the state’s unemployment rate above 6% (to 6.1%) for the first time since January.

Employment in the construction industry reached 75,500 in May, an increase of 700 from April 2016 and 6,900 (10.1%) from May 2016. During the first five months of 2016, construction industry jobs have risen by 6,100, an increase of 9.2%, compared to the same period a year ago.

Specialty Trade Contractors in Nevada employed 56,200 workers in May. This figure is a double-digit (12.2%) rise from May 2015’s 50,100 and 1,400 more than the total in April 2016. Employment numbers for Specialty Trade Contractors are not seasonally adjusted.

The DETR report also revealed that full-time employment in Nevada, after dropping from 1.1 million to almost 830,000 during the recession, has passed the 1 million mark. More than 3 out of every 4 positions in Nevada are full-time. In addition DETR reports the number of companies in the State unemployment insurance system rose to 66,900 in the first quarter of 2016. This represents an increase of 1.9% from the fourth quarter of 2015 and nearly 20% from the low during the recession.

Despite the good news, overall the state shed 3,800 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis in May and the unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points, to 6.1%, in the month.

“I’m disappointed that Nevada experienced a slight uptick in the unemployment rate for the month of May. We are experiencing dynamic population growth once again and I am hopeful that our robust economic development efforts coupled with existing business expansion will help reduce unemployment moving forward,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “It is clear that more work must be done and I am committed to creating an environment where every Nevadan who wants a good job can find one.”

While 2,800 actual jobs were added in the month (not seasonally adjusted), when compared against the expected increase of 6,600, the 3,800-job loss figure on a seasonally-adjusted basis results. Despite May’s rise in the unemployment rate, the rate is 0.8 percentage points below the unemployment rate of a year ago, the 63rd consecutive month of decline in the year-over-year rate, according to DETR.

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