The construction industry continued to lead Nevada in employment growth as the Silver State’s unemployment rate fell to below 6% for the first time since 2008, according to the February employment report from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).
The construction industry’s 8.3% year-over-year job growth rate compared to the first two months of 2015 led all industries in the Silver State and amounts to an additional 5,400 construction jobs during the period. Construction jobs fell in February by 200 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
Employment by Specialty Trade Contractors in Nevada grew by 4,600 since February 2015, an increase of 9.6%. Specialty Trade Contractors added 1,100 jobs in February 2016. Employment data for Specialty Trade Contractors is not seasonally-adjusted.
There are other encouraging signs for Nevada’s economy in the report. 3,900 new businesses opened in the Silver State in the second quarter of 2015, a 21.6% increase from the first quarter of 2011. Nationally, the number of new businesses in 2015’s second quarter was merely equal to the number from the first quarter of 2011. Prior to the recession, new business openings “topped out at just above 4,000 per quarter,” according to the DETR report.
February’s unemployment rate decreased to a seasonally-adjusted 5.9%, 1.1 percentage points lower than the rate a year ago. The unemployment rate for February is a full percentage point higher than the national rate but the gap between Nevada’s unemployment rate and the national rate is the lowest in eight years, according to the report.
“I’m extremely encouraged by the labor market news this month,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “The unemployment rate fell below 6 percent for the first time since April 2008. The long-term jobless rate, for those without a job for at least a half-year, has tumbled from 7 percent, at the height of the recession, to less than 2 percent. The number of Nevadans unemployed because they involuntarily lost their jobs has tumbled from nearly 120,000 when the recession was at its worst, to less than 40,000 over the past year. We will continue our efforts in improving our economy so that even more Nevadans can get back to work and provide for their families.”