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Nevada Adding Jobs Slowly and Steadily

July 25, 2013

Nevada is adding jobs at a slow but steady pace.  

Nevada is adding jobs at a slow but steady pace.


After years of record unemployment, Nevada finally is seeing job
growth.

Employment gains are slow but steady and point to the city and nation's
continued recovery from the recession, experts say.

The state's unemployment rate rose in June from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent, but
job growth was better than expected. There were 3,700 more jobs statewide last
month than in May and 23,600 more since the beginning of the year.

The unemployment rate also fell far below Nevada's 11.4 percent jobless rate a
year ago.

Bill Anderson, chief economist for the state Department of Employment, Training
and Rehabilitation, said the rise in unemployment was expected since many of the
jobs that were lost were seasonal.

He also attributed the rising rate to more people looking for work. That's a
good sign, since discouraged workers who gave up pursuing jobs now are back in
the hunt.

There were 132,400 Nevadans out of work in June.

"If you take a look at the big picture, it's evident that we're seeing job
growth in just about all sectors," Anderson said. "I think our growth is best
described as moderate in nature."

Job growth still pales in comparison to the increases seen during Las Vegas'
boom years. Statewide employment has grown by 2.1 percent this year. At its peak
before the recession, Nevada's job growth rate was 6 percent.

"We were leading the nation in growth for 20 years running," Anderson said.
"That was roughly four times the rate of growth nationwide. The problem is that
kind of growth is unsustainable."

Anderson said he expects to see conservative employment increases and slow but
steady growth in the future.

Only one of Nevada's 10 industry categories has seen job levels shrink this
year: professional and business services, a broad category that includes office
managers, support staff and security officers.

The biggest job growth has occurred in the leisure and hospitality industry,
made up of the state's bread-and-butter tourism jobs.

Trade, transportation and utility jobs saw the second-best growth while midway
down the list was construction, one of the fastest-growing sectors during the
boom. Since May, the number of construction jobs has grown by about 2,500.

The Associated General Contractors of America said June's 5 percent surge was
the highest percentage increase in the country. The association estimates there
are 52,700 construction jobs in the state.

But despite the growth, the number of construction jobs still falls 64 percent
below its June 2006 peak.

And while the state has focused much of its economic development resources on
attracting manufacturing companies to Nevada, that sector was flat in June and
up by only about 500 jobs for the year.

That hasn't stopped some companies from expanding into Southern Nevada.

ThomasNet, a New York digital marketing company for manufacturers, announced
this week that it is opening a Henderson operation with 20 employees. The
company helps connect buyers and suppliers using the Internet and social media.

"It's exciting to be at the intersection of manufacturing and digital media,"
said Fred Lovingier, director of ThomasNet's Southern Nevada office.
"Manufacturing is the new hot sector, innovating, growing and driving the U.S.
economy forward."

Southern Nevada also continues to be a haven for call centers.

Las Vegas-based Precision Opinion, for example, held a job fair Tuesday to fill
150 positions.

President Jim Medick started the company in 1996 with three employees. Today, it
employs 571 and is growing. Medick said the company has expanded because it
signed new clients that need research and data from public opinion surveys.

"This is a great market for this kind of business," Medick said.

Southern Nevada is home to an inexpensive labor force that is comfortable with
unusual hours required of national telemarketing companies.

New hires at Precision get three days of training about how to engage people in
telephone surveys.

"About 99 percent of it is knowing how to be pleasant on the phone," Medick
said. "The topics are really interesting, and we do social science research for
clients like the Centers for Disease Control that want public opinions on health
care, pandemic flu, special needs and immunizations."

Medick said he believes that in the soft economy, Southern Nevada will continue
to have a growing need for employees with people and data entry skills.


Source: (c)2013 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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