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Construction Continues Strong Job Growth in Nevada as Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.3%

Nevada’s construction industry remained the leader in the rate of job growth in the Silver State in August while overall the state stopped a skid of three consecutive months of rising unemployment rates with a decline to 6.3 percent during the month, according to the latest monthly employment report by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Average employment in construction during the first eight months of 2016 is 9.4 percent higher than the average for the same period in 2015. This job growth rate is the highest among all industries in Nevada, according to the DETR report.

Construction employment, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, increased by 1,100 in August. The 76,800 construction jobs in August is 6,300 more than the number for August 2015.

Employment by Specialty Trade Contractors is up by nearly double digits in the last year. The 5,200 job increase to 57,900 since August 2015 is a 9.9 percent increase. Figures for Specialty Trade Contractors are not seasonally adjusted.

The state’s overall unemployment rate fell in August after rising for the previous three months. DETR’s chief economist Bill Anderson stated,

“Over the month, a seasonally-adjusted 4,800 jobs were added. Although payrolls were expected to increase by 1,600 (not seasonally adjusted), a gain of 6,400 actually occurred, leading to the seasonally adjusted increase.”

In addition to the job gains in August, the DETR disclosed that July’s employment gain number was revised up, by 6,400 jobs. Including that update, the Silver State added 11,100 jobs in July.

The DETR report also discussed historical data that reveals how hard Nevada was hit by the recent economic downturn.

In the years preceding the economic downturn, Nevada led the country in private sector employment growth, with a growth rate of 6.4 percent in 2005. Conversely, during the recession, Nevada was the most affected state in terms of private sector employment growth. In fact, Nevada’s employment growth was the lowest in the nation in 2009 (-10.1 percent) and 2010 (-2.8 percent).

For the last few years the Silver State has had one of the fastest rates of job growth in the nation.

In 2014 Nevada had the second-fastest growing private sector in the nation, with a four percent growth rate; in 2015 we grew at a rate of 3.8 percent, third in the nation. With data through first quarter of 2016, we see that Nevada had the 11th-fastest growing private sector in the nation, at 3.1 percent. The three leading states are Utah, Florida, and Idaho.

Governor Sandoval weighed in on the latest DETR report.

“I am pleased that Nevada continues to exceed the nation in job creation and I’m encouraged that a majority of our growth is concentrated in full-time positions,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Unemployment claims are at the lowest level in a decade which is more good news for our labor market this month. We will continue to focus on economic development opportunities that will lead to quality jobs for residents of the Silver State.”

The report also noted that full-time employment in Nevada has risen by nearly 170,000 since the trough of the recession to a total of over 1 million while part-time employment “has held steady over the past four years, reaching 310,000 in August.”

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