About 192,000 Nevadans were unemployed, most of those in Las Vegas, where 142,000 were out of work, agency economist Bill Anderson said. More than 10,000 people either have left the state to seek employment elsewhere or became too discouraged to look for work.
The Las Vegas area saw a slight improvement in its jobless rate, dipping one-tenth of a percentage point to an unadjusted rate of 14.7 percent compared with July.
Reno declined slightly to 13.3 percent from 13.6 percent; and Carson City fell to 13.1 percent from 13.2 percent. Elko County’s rate dropped to 7.7 percent, from 8 percent in July.
“Despite moderating losses, a weak economic outlook will constrain any serious labor market improvement for the foreseeable future,” Anderson said.
Nationally, the jobless rate is 9.6 percent.
Nevada leads the nation in joblessness, foreclosures and bankruptcies, and the economy is a key issue in the upcoming elections.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., locked in a tight re-election battle against tea party-backed Republican Sharron Angle, said he understands Nevadans are “frustrated,” but touted recent passage of a small business jobs bill as a step forward.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee said the state’s continued high jobless rate shows the failure of Democratic policies to stimulate the economy.
Monday’s report said that while there were some seasonable improvements, “unemployment rates are up in all areas of the state from a year earlier,” when the statewide rate was 12.5 percent.
Nevada’s construction industry, particularly hard hit in the recession, added 700 jobs in August, mostly in road improvement projects. But the industry is still down 17,000 jobs from just a year ago, and tens of thousands from two years ago.
The report also noted that the unemployment rate for younger workers is nearly twice as high than other age groups, as older employees either keep their jobs or compete for those typically filled by younger workers.
“As of August, there were roughly 22,000 more workers 65 or older than teenage workers in the labor force,” the report said. “Given shifts in the distribution of Nevada’s population and expectations for future job growth, older workers will continue to crowd out younger workers for some time.”