Nevada urban employment grows while rural workforce declines

Nevada job growth in the last year has been concentrated overwhelmingly in urban areas, according to the state Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

Employment grew by 2.8 percent statewide from June 2017 to June 2018, or 37,600 new jobs, DETR noted in a release Tuesday. Employment in the Las Vegas metro area increased by 26,000 jobs (2.7 percent), while 8,600 jobs were added in Reno, a 3.7 percent increase.

The labor force declined in most rural counties.

DETR also reported that in June the unemployment insurance exhaustion rate – the percentage of those who had been on unemployment and used up all their benefits without finding work – ranged from less than 10 percent in Eureka County to more than 50 percent in Mineral County.

Nevada’s split between urban and rural employment growth emulates national patterns. The Department of Agriculture reports that since the Great Recession, while employment has grown in metropolitan areas, the labor force has never fully recovered in rural areas, and mostly has continued to decline.

metro and nonmetro


Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


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