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Archive for April, 2010

Vegas Unemployment Decreases Slightly

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Las Vegas unemployment was reported to have decreased slightly, while the percentage of unemployed Nevadans went down slightly in March to 13.6 percent.

According to, the Carson City, Reno and Las Vegas labor markets all report lower unemployment, with Carson City leading the way at a drop of four-tenths of a percent.

At the same time, Nevada lost 4,300 jobs, and statistics show the state isn’t experiencing its normal springtime hiring.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said that, in an apparent contradiction, that caused the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to rise.

“We normally see the unemployment rate decline as we approach the warm weather months,” said Bill Anderson, chief economist for DETR. “However, the downward trend wasn’t as pronounced as it normally would be and, as a result, our seasonally adjusted rate at the state level went up.”

The seasonally adjusted rate of 13.4 is the highest on record.

Economists “seasonally adjust” statewide unemployment rates to account for swings in the number of jobs caused by regular annual occurrences. Unemployment jumps up, for example, in September when high school and college kids leave jobs to return to school. Hiring jumps annually at the start of the Christmas shopping season when retailers hire temporary staff.

In this case, the adjustment is for the historic gearing up of summer tourism-related jobs and springtime hiring by construction companies.

Regional market rates are not seasonally adjusted.

“On the heels of improvement in February, the loss of 4,300 jobs in March is disappointing but indicative of the turbulence expected as the economy looks for direction,” Anderson said.

Only Carson City added jobs, but, even with 300 more jobs , the capital is still down 1,000 from a year ago.

Of those 300 added jobs, some 200 hires were by the state to fill positions deemed as necessary. The remaining 100 were by private sector service producing companies. The number of manufacturing positions was steady through March.

At least one group, the Economics Policy Institute, says the impact of this turbulent economy is disproportionately hurting the young.

“The recession combined with state and federal minimum wage increases has created a toxic environment for young Americans searching for a summer job,” said Michael Saltsman of EPI.

He said especially because of higher minimum wages, employers are reducing the number of low-wage jobs or moving to self-service systems that don’t require as many employees.

Anderson said construction and business services categories lost nearly 8,000 jobs in March. But much of that was made up by gains in leisure, hospitality, trade transportation and utility hiring as well as 400 people put to work by the 2010 Census. The net loss was 4,300.

Anderson said the Census Bureau plans to hire a total of 4,800 this spring and summer and, while those jobs are temporary, they will help reduce the state’s jobless numbers.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said federally supported energy projects either under way or planned will also put more Nevadans back to work. He said the list includes a power transmission line connecting northern and southern Nevada, A-Power’s new wind turbine plans and the solar electric generating plant being built in Eldorado Valley.

In Carson City, the jobless rate was 13.3 percent, leaving 3,900 out of 29,000 in the labor pool without work.

Las Vegas employment declined a tenth to 13.8 percent. An estimated 136,000 out of 986,400 workers are looking for work there.

In Reno/Sparks, the rate dipped two tenths to 13.2 percent — 30,100 out of 227,600 workers.

Elko is in the best shape of any reporting area in Nevada even though unemployment rose two-tenths during March to 8.5 percent. Elko has a labor force of 28,300 and just 2,400 jobless due to the continued strength of Nevada’s mining industry.

The state’s jobless rate remains second highest in the nation behind Michigan’s 14.1 percent and is well above the 9.7 percent national rate.

500 Hospitality Jobs in Las Vegas Crop Up

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Harrah’s Entertainment has announced they have five hundred hospitality jobs in Vegas open right now and are currently trying to fill the positions (click here).

They planned a job fair to fill the openings.

The casino operator said it needs to fill 125 full-time positions and 375 temporary, on-call or part-time positions at casinos around Las Vegas.

The job fair was Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino near the Las Vegas Strip.

Full-time positions include retail sales associates, guest room attendants, cooks, front desk agents, security officers, food servers and cashiers.

Seasonal or temporary positions include lifeguards, pool hosts and pool attendants _ and jobs at the World Series of Poker tournament.

The Las Vegas area unemployment rate rose to 13.9 percent in February, the 14th consecutive month of double-digit joblessness in southern Nevada.

According to, the job fair was one of the largest seen in Las Vegas for some time and it’s estimated that more than 5,000 people showed up in hopes of finding employment.

People started lining up at 4 a.m. at the Rio in anticipation of the job fair and by the day’s end, more than 200 people had been hired.

“March 5th I got laid off. So, I’m excited. I was up at 4 a.m. getting primped and pressed and got my smile on and now I’m here and it paid off. I got a job,” said an excited Dolphina Griffin, who got a job as a receptionist at Planet Hollywood.

The difficulty of finding a job was never more evident than in the long line that stretched all the way around the Rio resort. It took hours for people to get one-on-one interviews.

“I’ve been out of work for quite a bit and now with unemployment, the extension still hasn’t been passed yet, I’m a little stressed. Once my unemployment goes, I don’t have a cushion,” said unemployed paralegal Elizabeth Elliott.

Harrah’s Entertainment says the job fair was needed to hire for 500 positions. Of the positions available, 125 are full-time and the rest are part-time or temporary and needed for the World Series of Poker.

“Positions in food and beverage, cage cashiers, front-desk associates and guest room attendants,” said V.P. of Employment Chris Cappas.