Jobs & Business Growth
In November of 2016 Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation released its Annual jobs report, and the numbers were generally encouraging. Nevada boasts an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, evidencing big gains from its peak of nearly 14 percent in 2010.
Absent from the report, however, is any mention of Nevada’s ailing labor force, which has consistently shrunk as a proportion of the state’s population in a decades-long and worrisome trend.
In 1999, Nevada’s labor force participation rate was 69.1 percent; by 2016, it was 63 percent.
Because the unemployment rate does not account for those who have stopped looking for work, any decrease in the relative size of the labor force artificially inflates employment numbers.
Thus, the continued migration from the labor force has unfortunately blunted some of what would otherwise be good news from the latest jobs report.
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