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Nevada ranks second in nation for private sector job growth

There are signs of a strengthening economy as Nevada now ranks second in the nation for private sector job growth.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada added jobs at a rate of four percent in 2014, creating a total of 1.06 million jobs over the year – an increase of 40,700 new jobs for 2014.

Only the state of North Dakota saw a larger increase of 4.6 percent.

Tammi Odegard, workforce director for NyE Communities Coalition’s Career Connections, said employers in Pahrump are hiring for various positions around the community. She noted that the coalition’s quarterly employment expos have helped to connect clients with employers.

“We just had one this month that was well attended,” she said. “I already know at least one person who was hired because of that job expo. There may be more, but I know there are businesses that are hiring,” she said.

One such business is the Holiday Inn Express on Highway 160, which is presently under construction.

Odegard said the coalition is excited at the job prospects the company can offer once construction is complete.

“They are starting to ramp up their activities in regards to job seekers,” she said.

Regarding what type of positions local employers are looking for, Odegard said the construction industry appears to be leading the way in terms of hiring employees.

Not far behind according to Odegard, are positions within the medical and service industries.

“When I drive around the community, it looks like more construction jobs are coming, but that’s just what I’m seeing,” she said. “Up north, there’s the solar project as well as mining.”

Odegard also said anyone seeking local employment should visit the coalition immediately where they can meet with case managers who will assist them.

Additionally, those under time constraints can view updated job postings in the coalition’s resource room.

“People who are looking for employment need to come in here today,” she said. “There are workshops to help them get ready for interviews, putting together resumes and preparing for the job fair down the road. They also have access to computers, fax machines and printers.”

Odegard also said employers seeking employees can also benefit from what the coalition has to offer.

“There are a lot of services we can provide to the employer as well,” she said. “We can do on the job training where if an employer has a potential employee, we can provide assistance with on-the-job training.”

The coalition also has services for local youths on summer break, according to Odegard.

“We have our youth summer programs going on right now for kids who are still in school and another program for kids who are either in or out of school,” she said. “We’re looking for more youths to enroll in those programs.”

Last week, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval heralded the news in a press release while at the same time, cautioning there’s still more job gains to be made.

“This is extremely positive news for the Silver State,” Sandoval said. “This is more evidence that our economy is becoming stronger and is moving in the right direction. Still, there are too many Nevadans out of work. We will continue our momentum of attracting diverse industries to the state and assisting our current businesses in growing so that all Nevadans will have opportunities to get back to work.”

Prior to the 2008 recession, Nevada was at the top of the job growth rankings, but when the economic downturn hit, Nevada’s job losses were the most pronounced in the nation.

In 2009 and 2010, job levels fell by 10.1 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.

During the height of the recession, Nevada’s unemployment rate peaked at 13.7 percent, with nearly 190,000 people unemployed.

At present, Nevada’s unemployment rate hovers at seven percent, which equates to 99,000 people unemployed.

Sandoval said looking at job growth over time offers the best picture of Nevada’s economic performance over the past several years.

“This is an especially impressive performance when put it in historical context,” he said. “We have gone from the fastest-growing state in the nation, to the state hit hardest by the recession, to the state that, once again, is near the top of the rankings.”

Nevada began making up for lost ground in 2011, when jobs grew 1.2 percent, the 37th-strongest gain in the nation, while job growth has picked up every year since, according to the governor.

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