Undercurrent

NV has 2nd highest unemployment rate in U.S. despite 2nd highest employment growth

By: - December 21, 2021 11:56 am

The difference between November total employment and the peak workforce in 2020 is overwhelmingly concentrated in the casino/hotel portion of the leisure and hospitality sector, which is about 66,000 people shy of the industry’s pre-pandemic workforce.(Photo: Ronda Churchill)

The employment report for November recently released by state officials reiterates the long-standing observation of politicians, analysts, and working Nevadans: The state was among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and its recovery, as anticipated, is a long hard slog.

Nevada has had the nation’s highest, or nearly highest, unemployment rate throughout the pandemic. That was still true in November, when Nevada’s 6.8% unemployment rate was just behind the nation’s top rate of 6.9% in California.

Further illustrating how hard Nevada fell during the pandemic, the state sports the nation’s second highest unemployment rate even as it recorded the second highest employment growth in the nation in November.

Nevada’s year-over-year employment growth was 7.7%, second only to 8.4% growth in Hawaii – like Nevada, a state where the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the tourism industry over the last two years.

The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reports a total employed workforce in the state of 1,367,500 in November. 

The size of the state’s workforce peaked in February 2020 at 1,442,800.

The 75,300 difference between November total employment and the peak workforce in 2020 is overwhelmingly concentrated in the casino/hotel portion of the leisure and hospitality sector, which is about 66,000 people shy of the industry’s pre-pandemic workforce.

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

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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