Nevada’s precarious labor rate among nation’s highest

U3 U6 wtf
Reinhard Dietrich [CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

U3 U6 wtf
Reinhard Dietrich [CC0 1.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this month the state reported that unemployment in Nevada, though still above the national rate of 3.7 percent, had dipped a tenth of a point to 4.4 percent in October.

But that’s the headline “U3” rate. The “U6” rate — defined as “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons” — in Nevada is 9.4 percent. As RGC Economics notes in its most recent Jobs Flash, Nevada has the 4th highest U6 rate in the nation.

The 5 point gap between the U3 and the U6 rates in Nevada is also among the highest in the nation. The gap in the U.S. was 3.7 percent in October. The Bureau of Labor Statistics labor tracks “labor underutilization” by states each quarter, in a rolling year-long average. In the most recent measures, from the fourth quarter of 2017 through the third quarter of this year, the difference between U3 and U6 was 3.8 percent nationally, and 4.8 percent in Nevada, giving Nevada the second highest gap after Alaska’s 5.1 percent difference.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson 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 author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.


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