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Cy Ryan

Gaming Employment Expands in Las Vegas But Falls in Reno

22 August 2005

CARSON CITY, Nevada -- Employment in Las Vegas-area hotels and casinos grew by a healthy 6.2 percent in July compared to a year ago but the Reno-Sparks area suffered a decline in gaming jobs.

The number of jobs in Clark County swelled to 872,300, a 7.6 percent increase over July 2004.

The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported Friday that there were 1,227,800 jobs in Nevada during July, a 6.4 percent increase over the same month in 2004. Statewide, the unemployment rate inched up from 4.1 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July when there were an estimated 52,200 people looking for work.

Gov. Kenny Guinn said Nevada's economy remains robust in spite of the small increase in unemployment.

"We expect the unemployment rate to increase slightly during the summer months because many teachers and other school staff temporarily join the ranks of the unemployed," the governor said. "With the end of the academic year there are also recent graduates out looking for employment.

The department said employment in the casino hotels and gaming sector in Clark County rose to 177,400, or 10,400 more workers than a year ago. But in Washoe County -- that includes Reno and Sparks -- total employment in casino hotels and gaming fell 3.5 percent to 24,500 on the job.

Nevada's statewide unemployment figure of 4.2 percent still remained well below the 5 percent national rate and the 5.4 percent out of work in California.

Department director Birgit Baker said the temporary increase in unemployment was due largely to the end of the school year. "The jobs temporarily lost in July will return once school resumes."

The jobless rate in Clark County of 4.3 percent was still below the 4.6 percent recorded a year ago. There were an estimated 37,300 persons jobless last month in the Las Vegas area.

Employment in Clark County remained especially strong in construction and professional and business services. The department said there were 103,600 persons working in construction last month, up 14.3 percent from a year ago in Clark County. Jobs in professional and business services reached 105,200, an increase of 11 percent from July 2004.

The department said employment grew 4.8 percent in trade, transportation and utilities in Clark County to 146,200; increased 7.1 percent to 49,800 employed in financial activities; rose 7.1 percent in education and health services to 57,600 and increased 4.9 percent in government employment with an estimated 81,300 employees.

The Reno-Sparks areas reported total employment at 218,900, up 4.5 percent from a year ago. Trade, transportation and utilities employment produced 45,000 jobs, up 3.8 percent; construction jobs rose 14.4 percent to 23,900; manufacturing was up 1.4 percent to 14,500 jobs in Washoe County and professional and business services increased 11.3 percent to 26,500.

Unemployment in Washoe County inched up to 3.9 percent, up one-tenth of a percentage point over June and two-tenths of a percentage point higher than July last year.

The department said the jobless rate in Carson City was 4.5 percent with 1,200 people out of work, an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago. Total employment reached 33,000, up 2.5 percent from July 2004.

Elko and Eureka counties posted a 4.1 percent unemployment rate in July with 1,000 persons out of work. It was 3.6 percent in July 2004. There were 23,200 employed, a 14.7 percent decline from the same month of 2004.