Job growth slows, unemployment steadies as Nevada recovers from COVID – Reno Gazette Journal

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Jobs

Nevada is entering the home stretch for 2022 with slower job growth compared to the first half of the year as its economy shifts from pandemic recovery to more traditional expansion.Nevada added 3,600 jobs in September after losing 600 jobs in August. While it represents a bounce back for the state, it also means Nevada is essentially back to the same level of employment reported in July.The trend represents a moderation for the Silver State, which closed 2021 with the top spot in the Index of State Economic Momentum. The index, which is released by the Federal Funds Information for States, is based on metrics such as personal income growth, employment growth and population growth.‘Everything takes longer’:Employers struggle to find new normal amid inflation, rising costsUnemployment in Nevada also held steady at 4.4% for three months in a row through September before rising to 4.6% in October, according to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. Nevada recently fell to 12th in the nation for its rate of hires after previously leading the nation. “Nevada, especially when it was in recovery mode (from COVID-19), was No. 1 in the country for a considerable amount of time,” said David Schmidt, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “That has pulled back.”“The overall pace of job gains has been slower than earlier in the year because we’re transitioning into expansion (instead of) recovery,” Schmidt added.At the same time, the reason Nevada did so well with its hiring rate numbers in the last year was because it lost so many jobs during the pandemic. At one point, Nevada had an unemployment rate of 28.2% in April 2020, the highest ever recorded for a state, as businesses shut down due to COVID.Since then, the Silver State has recovered all its lost jobs — and then some. In June this year, Nevada broke its all-time high for total employment. The state reported more than 1.45 million total jobs in the state, beating the previous high set in February 2020 just before the pandemic. The Reno-Sparks metro area, which has a more diversified economy than the Las Vegas Metro area, recovered especially quickly. The Reno-Sparks metro currently has an unemployment rate of 3.5% — which is lower than the national seasonally adjusted rate of 3.7% — compared to 5.6% for the Las Vegas metro area.Reno’s quicker recovery, however, also means that its rate of job growth has normalized faster as well. “Job growth …

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