Douglas unemployment rate hits 10.9 percent |

Douglas unemployment rate hits 10.9 percent

At 10.9 percent, Douglas County’s jobless rate has been surpassed by the record state average of 11.3 percent.

The county remains in the middle of the pack for Nevada counties, well below Lyon’s highest rate of 14.7 percent, but well above Eureka County’s 5.8 percent.

The county’s unemployment rate has dropped slightly since February’s high of 11.3 percent, a trend followed by Carson City and Lyon County.

The statewide unemployment rate of 11.3 percent is the highest rate of joblessness registered since the state began keeping record in 1976. Prior to May, the highest rate recorded was 10.7 percent in December 1982. This equates to 154,600 people in Nevada who are out of work and are actively looking for work, with 112,700 of those in Clark County, said William Anderson, chief economist for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation.

“There is some sentiment that the U.S. economy may be near the bottom of the recession,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, May brought with it news suggesting that economic conditions in Nevada remain extremely weak. Historically, employment is a ‘lagging’ indicator of the economy’s health. Hence, when a recovery does take hold in Nevada, labor market conditions will likely not respond immediately. This recession has hit the State extremely hard. As of April, only six states – Michigan, Oregon, South Carolina, Rhode Island, California, and North Carolina – had higher unemployment rates than Nevada.”

Nationally, the unemployment rate jumped from 8.9 percent in April to 9.4 percent in May, and it stands 3.9 percentage points higher than a year ago. Over the 2002-2006 period, Nevada’s jobless rate consistently came in below national readings. Since then, however, the state’s jobless rate has exceeded that for the U.S., Anderson said.

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