October Unemployment Down As 5,100 Jobs Added

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According to the latest data from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), the state’s U-3 or headline unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point over the month, to 4.4 percent, in October 2018. The state’s unemployment rate is down half a percentage point over the year. This rate is 0.7 points above the U.S. rate in October (3.7 percent), and 0.6 points above Nevada’s all-time low unemployment rate (3.8 percent).

Initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits totaled 9,900, beginning the seasonal increase in claims experienced in the state around the fourth quarter each year. Claims activity increased by 19.5 percent relative to last month, with 1,600 more claims in October. Still, initial claims decreased 11.6 percent year-over-year, or 1,300 claims, continuing the downward trend observed in each month of 2018 so far. This great DETR chart shows changes in all the various measures of unemployment and underemployment:

Nevada’s Unemployment Trust Fund balance sits slightly in excess of $1.5 billion, another record level. This current balance could pay 5.2 years of benefits at the current payment rate ($5.5 million per week), or 1.2 years of benefits in a recession like the Great Recession. Average unemployment duration has fallen to 13.3 weeks, down from 13.4 weeks a year ago. The UI exhaustion rate stands at 33.1 percent, 2.8 percentage points lower than last October.

Overall job growth is up 45,800 jobs and grew by 3.4 percent year-over-year. That is double the current U.S. growth rate of 1.7 percent. Nevada’s over the year job growth rate has remained at or over three percent since July of this year. 5,100 jobs were added over the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, driven completely by strong private sector growth.

The construction industry’s year-to-date average employment growth continues to experience the largest nominal gains over the same period last year, increasing by 9,500 jobs or 11.4 percent, bringing total jobs in that industry to 92,900. Manufacturing remains the fastest-growing industry, growing by 13.8% over the year.