Special to the Ely Times

According to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation’s December 2019 economic report, statewide, jobs increased by 1.9 percent, a gain of 27,400 new jobs added since December last year. Similarly, Nevada’s Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) all showed growth when compared to December last year. All three MSAs had faster employment growth rates than the national rate of 1.4 percent. The Reno MSA added jobs at the rate of 3.8 percent during the same period, while Las Vegas and Carson City grew by 2.4 and 3.3 percent respectively. These percentage changes represent an increase of 1,000 jobs in Carson City, 24,800 jobs in Las Vegas, and 9,500 in Reno all compared to December 2018.

Compared to November 2019, the Reno and Carson City areas experienced increases of 100 jobs, while Las Vegas experienced an increase of 500 jobs. These changes are seasonally adjusted to show underlying trends in employment.December’s unemployment rates showed decreases compared to 2018 in all three MSAs, all published cities, and in all counties except Esmeralda and Eureka counties.

Six counties were at or below twenty-year lows in unemployment including Churchill, Elko county, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, and White Pine. Elko City had an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent down from 3.4 in December 2018.  “Nevada’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in December, matching the lowest rate in series history dating back to 1976 and the lowest rate since February 1999. Many of our counties followed similar trends with six counties at 20-year lows, Douglas county at a 19-year low, and Clark & Washoe counties within 0.1 percent of a 20-year low. December also continued the recent trend of slower job growth, with both the total change in jobs as well as the growth rate falling to lower levels than we have seen in over six years.

Despite those challenges, all three MSAs continue to grow at rates faster than the national average of 1.4 percent. As we close out the decade, it is impressive to see that our unemployment rate has come down nearly ten full percentage points and the state has added almost 328,000 jobs in that time. Our state sustained a massive economic blow at the start of the decade but enters the next with solid job growth and low unemployment, which should continue to provide opportunities for job seekers across the state.” said David Schmidt, Chief Economist for DETR.