Unemployment rate unchanged at 8.7 percent

The unemployment rate in Nye County held steady for a third straight month in September, with the county seeing 8.7 percent of the available workforce without jobs.

Out of the 16,568 person workforce in the area, 15,130 of those people were employed, with 1,438 people out of work according to numbers released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

The number has remained unchanged percentage-wise, but the labor force numbers have varied, jumping over 300 people from 16,282 in August, to the 16,585 in the latest report.

Even with new business editions like the Holiday Inn Express on Highway 160 in September, Workforce Director at NyE Communities Coalition Tammi Odegard said she thought the rate stayed the same due to new employment opportunities replacing some that were eliminated during the same time frame.

“We’ve seen some changes in the workforce here in Nye County, with some loss of employment and we’ve seen a lot of new jobs being posted,” Odegard said. “There has just been an even amount of job loss and then new jobs that have just been added.”

Nye County Manager Pam Webster said in addition to the positions filled to run the Holiday Inn, construction jobs tied to the project and “four to five” marijuana cultivation sites either in production or under construction could have also bolstered the number.

As the holiday season approaches, Odegard foresees the unemployment rate improving by year’s end.

“I would anticipate that the unemployment rate will drop in Pahrump,” she said. “I have seen some new employers coming in that we have not worked with before that have new jobs. Hopefully there will not be any more job loss, there is nothing that I know of that is coming up, so hopefully there will be some more new additions.”

Nye had the second highest unemployment rate in the state, behind Mineral County’s 10.3 percent. Clark County saw a small decrease in those without jobs, as their rate fell from 7 percent in August to 6.8 percent in September.

The state as a whole had a 6.6 percent unemployment rate in September down from 6.8 percent in August. Out of the about 1.43 million in the labor force statewide, 1.33 million of those held jobs, with 94,312 unemployed.

Nye County’s rate is down from the year-high of 9.4 percent reported in January, but up from the yearly low of 8.4 percent reported in May.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.