Nevada’s job base expanded 3.6% year over year this February. This was second in the nation only to North Dakota which is experiencing an oil and gas boom that has spurred their economic expansion.
Experts are saying that these numbers continue to show that Nevada is recovering nicely from the recession. Employers are continuing to add jobs and consumer confidence continues to rise as well.
Locally, the Las Vegas Valley jobless rate fell to 8.6% in February which is down from 8.9% in January and down from 10.8% in February 2013. Las Vegas posted the lowest unemployment rate among the state’s three biggest metro areas. This is the first time since the recession that our local rates were lower than in Reno and Carson City.
Nevada fell to #3 in joblessness, behind Rhode Island and Illinois. This is the first time that Nevada hasn’t been in the top two for unemployment since May 2010.
The main factors in our improvements in employment came from construction and tourism. These are the same two sectors that took the hardest hit during the downturn. Residential home building has picked up and the Strip resorts are adding hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail and entertainment space.
Nevada lost about 175.000 jobs during the downturn. It regained 60,000 from 2010-2013 and is on track to bring back another 40,000 this year.
Although things are picking up we are still well above the national unemployment rate of 6.7%.