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Jobless rate in Las Vegas area rises to 14.2 percent


Associated Press file

The jobless rate in Clark County climbed to 14.2 percent last month in part because of the “poor condition of the construction industry,” the state’s chief economist said.

Updated Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 | 7:16 a.m.

The unemployment rate in Clark County climbed to 14.2 percent in August, which is the highest rate this year, according to numbers released this morning.

The number of unemployed in the county stood at 135,720, which is 2,400 more than in July.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported the statewide jobless rate rose to 13.4 percent, up from 12.9 percent in July. There were 176,200 people unemployed compared to 169,400 in July.

“The August jobs report confirmed what has been evident since the beginning of summer, that Nevada’s labor market is not improving as well as many would hope,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the department.

He said the “poor condition of the construction industry continues to contribute heavily to Nevada’s economic stalemate.” Since the start of the recession, construction employment is down by 90,000 jobs statewide.

However, in Clark County construction employment rose to 40,900 in August, or 1,000 more than a month ago. That was the highest number of construction workers on the job this year. Statewide, there were 54,600 construction workers, the same as a year ago in August.

Employment in the Clark County hotel-casino industry fell to 160,400, or 700 less than in July. Manufacturing employment dipped to 18,300, which is 100 fewer than in July, but the trade, transportation and utilities segment rose to 143,000, up 700 workers.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said he has been preparing plans with his cabinet for training of the jobless, better coordination of eligibility for many state services and specific efforts for veterans and others.

The department reported the ranks of the long-term unemployed continued to grow. The percentage of workers jobless for more than 26 weeks is at 50 percent among all unemployed. That compares with 27 percent two years ago.

“When a person is out of work for a long period of time, skills and experience diminish, making it more difficult to find employment as time goes on,” said Anderson.

The unemployment rate in the Reno-Sparks area stood at 13 percent, the same as July. Carson City’s rate in August grew to 12.7 percent, up 0.1 percent from July. Elko County’s rate stayed at 7.4 percent.

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