ELKO — The October unemployment number in Elko remained virtually steady from last month but still sat well below the rest of the state.
Elko County’s unemployment rate is at 5.4 percent, according the latest report from Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation. This is a tenth of a percent decrease from September, but more than 6 percentage points below Nevada’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 11.5 percent for the month of October.
Total labor force for the county in October was about 31,260. Of those, about 29,570 were employed.
Like Elko’s numbers, state unemployment rates dipped as well, down to 11.5 percent in October compared with 11.8 the month before.
Three major metropolitan areas in the state experienced a decrease in unemployment which contributed to the state’s overall trend. Las Vegas dropped to 11.1 percent unemployment — a .4 percent difference; Reno-Sparks fell to 10.6 percent and Carson City’s unemployment percent fell to 10.7 percent — both of which is a .2 percent decrease.
Nationally, the unemployment rate went up to a seasonally adjusted 7.9 percent compared with 7.8 percent in September.
Though Nevada’s unemployment rate is continuing downward, state officials reservedly approached the optimistic news of the state’s dwindling unemployment numbers and its implication on the economy.
“October’s unemployment rate is the lowest rate since May of 2009, a significant step for our state,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a release. “While this news is welcome, our state’s unemployment rate remains at a high level and continues to indicate the need for sustained economic diversification and private section job growth.”
Even so, the direction of the state’s economy is indicative of recovery.
“All things considered, available information suggest that Nevada’s labor market has been on the mend since right around the beginning of 2011,” Chief Economist Bill Anderson said.