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Construction Continues to Lead the Way as Nevada’s Unemployment Rate Falls Again

With a nearly double-digit growth rate, the construction industry once again led the state of Nevada in the rate of job growth in March as the Silver State’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally-adjusted 5.8 percent, according to the latest monthly employment report from the Nevada Department of Employment, Rehabilitation and Training (DETR).

Construction added 5,900 jobs compared to the first quarter of 2015, a 9.1% growth rate. From March 2015 to March 2016, employment in the construction industry increased by 7,900, a more than double-digit jump of 11.6%. 3,000 construction jobs were added in March alone.

Employment by Specialty Trade Contractors grew by 6,800 or 14.2%, and by 2,500 in March 2016. Sub-sector data supplied by DETR, such as for Specialty Trade Contractors, is not seasonally adjusted. Overall in March, employment in the state grew 6,500 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

Nevada businesses added 35,500 jobs in the past 12 months, a 2.8% rate of growth. The state’s growth rate is 3rd in the nation and March marked the 44th consecutive month of year-over-year job growth. The Silver State’s unemployment rate has fallen by 1.1 percentage points just in the last year.

“The State continues to narrow the gap with respect to the national unemployment rate and for the 44th consecutive month Nevada’s job growth, which is the third best in the nation, has exceeded the national average,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Small businesses continue to create new opportunities across Nevada and have surpassed peak pre-recession job numbers, a major milestone for the Silver State.”

The DETR report indicates small businesses are driving the state’s employment recovery.

As of the third quarter of 2015, employment in Nevada firms with less than 100 employees totaled 592,000 – this translates into a new record-high, surpassing the previous peak of 585,000, established prior to the most recent recession. Over the course of the downturn, nearly 75,000 jobs were lost in small business establishments in the Silver State between the end of 2007 and early-2010. Year-over-year, employment gains for these establishments have been recorded in each of the past 19 quarters. In 2015:IIIQ, job levels stood 18,700 higher than a year ago. In fact, in ten of the past 11 quarters, year-over-year jobs gains in excess of 15,000 have been recorded.

Though Nevada’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national rate, the state has been a leader in job growth and that gap continues to close each month. While employment in the industry is still down significantly from the peak before the recession, construction has consistently been a leader in the rate of job growth in the Silver State.

The DETR will release additional employment data, including for municipalities, in the coming days.

(Note: This post was edited from its original to include Specialty Trade Contractor employment data.)

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