LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A March unemployment rate of 6.7% in Las Vegas only begins to tell the story that began to unfold as COVID-19 shut down the city’s economy.
That’s because that measure was taken before casinos on the Las Vegas Strip closed on March 17. Data collected through the week of March 12 show the spike starting to take shape in a March report released by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) on Tuesday. We won’t see the magnitude of that spike until the next report.
“As with our statewide data released last week, today’s report shows the earliest effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nevada’s local areas,” said David Schmidt, Chief Economist for DETR.
“We can see in these early numbers how counties are being impacted in different ways at this early stage. Unemployment increased the most in the state’s urban areas, with the impact hitting North Las Vegas the hardest with an increase of 3.2 percentage points,” Schmidt said.
Today’s report on Metropolitan Statistical Areas shows:
Job growth (seasonally adjusted)
- Las Vegas: down 4,100 jobs over the month, up 6,300 over the year (0.6%).
- Reno: down 500 jobs over the month, up 3,300 over the year (1.3%).
- Carson City: down 100 jobs over the month, up 400 jobs over the year (1.3%).
Unemployment (not seasonally adjusted):
- Las Vegas: 6.7%, up from February’s 3.9%, and up from 4.1% last year.
- Reno: 5.3%, up from 3.2% in February, and up from 3.6% last year.
- Carson City: 6.7%, up from 4.1% in February, and up from 4.5% last year.
In the monthly report, Eureka County has Nevada’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.8%, while Nye County had the highest at 7.8%.
Those numbers will change dramatically in the next report, which will show the damage to Nevada’s workforce. A recent report said 39% of jobs in the metro area are in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector — the hardest hit in the COVID-19 crisis.