December jobs: Carson City, Reno and Vegas continue to see fastest employment growth in nation

Article by Jeff Munson, CarsonNow

“Job growth in Carson City was up 3.3 percent in December 2019 when compared to December 2018, according to statewide figures released Tuesday by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

In its December 2019 economic report, statewide jobs increased by 1.9 percent, a gain of 27,400 new jobs added since December 2018.

Similarly, Nevada’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) all showed growth when compared to December 2018. All three MSAs had faster employment growth rates than the national rate of 1.4 percent.

The Reno MSA added jobs at the rate of 3.8 percent during the same period, while Las Vegas and Carson City grew by 2.4 and 3.3 percent respectively, according to the report.

These percentage changes represent an increase of 1,000 jobs in Carson City, 24,800 jobs in Las Vegas, and 9,500 in Reno all compared to December 2018.

Compared to November 2019, the Reno and Carson City areas experienced increases of 100 jobs, while Las Vegas experienced an increase of 500 jobs. These changes are seasonally adjusted to show underlying trends in employment.

December’s unemployment rates showed decreases compared to 2018 in all three MSAs, all published cities, and in all counties except Esmeralda and Eureka counties. Decreases in the MSAs were 0.8 percent in Reno, one percent in Las Vegas, and 1.1 percent in Carson City.

Douglas county reached a 19-year low of 3.4 percent in September 2019, and is currently at 3.5 percent, last seen in August to October of 2000.

Six counties were at or below 20 year lows in unemployment including Churchill, Elko county, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, and White Pine. Elko City had an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent down from 3.4 in December 2018. Fernley City increased by 0.3 percent since November, but has decreased by 1.1 percent since December 2018.

“Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in December, matching the lowest rate in series history dating back to 1976 and the lowest rate since February 1999,” said David Schmidt, Chief Economist for DETR. “Many of our counties followed similar trends with six counties at 20-year lows, Douglas county at a 19-year low, and Clark and Washoe counties within 0.1 percent of a 20-year low.”

December also continued the recent trend of slower job growth, with both the total change in jobs as well as the growth rate falling to lower levels than we have seen in over six years, he said. Despite those challenges, all three MSAs continue to grow at rates faster than the national average of 1.4 percent.

“As we close out the decade, it is impressive to see that our unemployment rate has come down nearly 10 full percentage points and the state has added almost 328,000 jobs in that time,” said Schmidt. “Our state sustained a massive economic blow at the start of the decade but enters the next with solid job growth and low unemployment, which should continue to provide opportunities for job seekers across the state.”

Additional December 2019 Economic Report Highlights:
Job Growth in December (Seasonally-Adjusted):
— Carson City increased 100 jobs over the month, and is up 1,000 jobs over the year (3.3 percent).
— Reno added 100 jobs over the month and 9,500 over the year (3.8 percent).
— Las Vegas is up 500 jobs over the month and is up 24,800 over the year (2.4 percent).

All three of the metro areas have employment growth rates higher than the national growth rate of 1.4 percent.
Unemployment (Not Seasonally-Adjusted):

— Carson City: 3.3 percent, unchanged from November, and down 1.1 percentage point from a year ago.
— Reno: 2.6 percent; down 0.1 percentage point from November, down 0.8 percentage from this time last year.
— Las Vegas: 3.5 percent; down 0.2 percentage point from November, and down one percentage point from a year ago.

Since November 2018, 15 of 17 counties showed decreases in unemployment rate. Douglas county reached a 19-year low of 3.5 percent last seen in August to October of 2000.

While Eureka showed no change, and Esmeralda increased by 0.1 percent. Eureka has the states lowest unemployment rate at 2.3 percent, while Nye and Esmeralda had the highest at 4.5 percent.

Lyon County was among six counties reached unemployment rates at or below 20-year lows; Churchill at three percent, Elko at 2.6 percent, Lincoln at 3.4 percent, Lyon at four percent, Mineral at 3.3 percent, and White Pine at 2.6 percent.

Clark and Washoe counties are within 0.1 percent of a 20-year low. Clark county has a 20-year low of 3.4 percent seen in December 1998, and was at 3.5 percent in December 2019. Washoe county closed out 2019 at 2.6 percent close to a 20-year low of 2.5 percent seen in October 1999.

Humboldt finished the year with a rate of 2.6 percent, which is slightly up from a March 2019 low of 2.5 percent, but still down from a previous low of 2.9 percent in May 2007.

On a city level Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Sparks, and Reno had decreases in unemployment on a monthly and annual basis.

Additionally, Boulder City, Elko City, Fernley City, and Mesquite City also had over-the-year decreases, but when compared to November Boulder city remained constant and Fernley increased by 0.3 percent.

Over the decade the labor forces in Clark, Storey, and Washoe counties have increased. Additionally, it has increased in nine rural counties. The increase in Clark is approximately 141,000 people, and in Washoe it was approximately 43,000 people.

Gaming wins in Nevada grew by 14.8 percent from 2010 to November 2019 when using a 12-month moving average. Clark count grew by 15.3 percent, Washoe grew by 11.4 percent, and Carson Valley area grew by 9.3 percent all over the same time.

Visitors to Las Vegas increased from 3.1 million visitors in 2010 to 3.5 million in 2019, while visitors to Reno increased from 369 thousand to 402 thousand over the same time.”

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