Unemployment rate falls to lowest in eight years

The unemployment rate in the county dropped a significant amount between the first two months of the year.

Nye County saw its unemployment rate drop a full percentage point from January’s 8.5 percent to February’s 7.5 percent, according to numbers released last week by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

This is after the number surged during the holiday season and seasonal jobs coming to an end in December, jumping the rate from 7.8 percent to the 8.5 percent in January.

Businesses have increased hiring, according to Tammi Odegard, workforce director at NyE Communities Coalition, the nonprofit group helps Pahrump employers find residents eager to fill their positions.

“I know we’ve seen an increase in the number of job openings that we have assisted employers with over the last month,” Odegard said.

With the increase of available positions, there are some sectors that are hiring more than others.

“Here in Nye County I’ve been seeing a lot of administrative-type jobs and customer service/hospitality jobs.”

Odegard said that those jobs are mainly tied into casinos and restaurants hiring new employees recently.

The jobs that do become available in the county aren’t lasting very long before someone is hired into the position.

“Entry-level positions are filling within a week and the more highly-skilled positions are taking a little longer to fill,” Odegard said.

The 7.5 percent rate is the lowest recorded unemployment rate since December 2007.

The rate is significantly lower than February 2015, when the county had a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, which saw a slight decrease from January 2015’s number of 9.4 percent.

Nye County had a labor force of 15,990 in February, with 14,785 employed and 1,205 unemployed.

Statewide, the unemployment rate was at 5.7 percent, almost a full percent lower than January’s rate of 6.5 percent.

Planned projects, like the proposed addition to the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch on State Route 160, which is set to include various commercial projects such as a hotel, movie theater, offices and restaurants, Odegard said the coalition is prepping to train potential employees for such jobs.

“We are preparing for an influx of hospitality and customer service jobs, we’re hearing some things are going to be coming, so we are in the early stages of preparing a curriculum so that people can get trained specifically in those fields, right here at no cost,” she said.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @mickakers

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