At 14.4 percent, Nevada still leads nation in unemployment


Nevada’s jobless rate reached a record for the 14th straight month in August, and observers say even the coming holiday season probably won’t yield significant hiring activity in the state.

Unemployment in the Silver State rose to an all-time high of 14.4 percent, up from 14.3 percent in July, according to numbers Monday from the state Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation. In the Las Vegas Valley, joblessness edged down slightly, to 14.7 percent, after hitting a record 14.8 percent in July. Include discouraged workers who’ve quit looking for jobs and underemployed part-timers who would rather work full time, and both state and local jobless rates surge past 20 percent, economists say.

Nevada has led the nation in joblessness since May, when it ousted Michigan from the top spot. The nation’s jobless rate was 9.6 percent in August.

“For all intents and purposes, we’ve been bouncing around the bottom for the past few months,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for the employment department. “I don’t see anything on the horizon that will serve as a catalyst to get us back onto a growth trajectory. I think the best we can hope for is a sideways movement.”

Added Brian Gordon, a principal in local research and consulting firm Applied Analysis: “The economic climate in Nevada and Southern Nevada remains challenged. There’s no question business activity is strained, and the environment is a difficult one to maneuver.”

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