Initial jobless claims continue steady decline

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Initial jobless claims continue steady decline

Initial unemployment claims in Nevada last month dropped 14 percent from the same month a year ago. Despite the improvement, the state's jobless rate remains the second-highest in the nation at 8.5 percent.

Last month, about 13,000 Nevadans who recently lost their jobs filled out an initial claim; it's the first step in filing for unemployment benefits. That rate is 64 percent lower than it was at the height of the recession when more than 36,000 Nevadans filed their initial claims in December of 2008.

State Economist Bill Anderson says that last month's figure is not an isolated increase; it represents years of steady improvement.

"We've now seen declines in the past 49 of the past 52 months," Anderson explains, "so this isn't just a blip or anything like that. It's a continuation of trends we've been seeing for more than four years."

Anderson says fewer initial unemployment claims indicate that job creation is on the rise for several industries, including leisure and hospitality, along with warehousing, healthcare, and even construction:

"The construction industry, which was arguably the hardest hit here in Nevada during the recession has started to bounce off of their historical lows."

He forecasts that an additional 60,000 new jobs will be created in Nevada between this year and next.