LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada’s unemployment rate increased to 5.4% in August, up slightly from July and again the highest in the nation.

Figures released Thursday by the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) show that the number of jobs is increasing rapidly in metro Las Vegas — about 8,500 jobs added in August — but the state still lags behind other states in reducing overall unemployment.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage point, up from 5.3% in July. The unadjusted rate was the same as July’s at 5.8%. Initial claims for unemployment were down by 7% statewide compared to July. A total of 10,253 initial claims were filed in August. That’s above the average for the past 12 months (9,982).

Unemployment payments totaling $33.9 million went out in August. That’s down 8.3% from July, but up more than 50% compared to August of 2022.

Nevada has had the highest unemployment in the nation since late 2022.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Nevada continues to lead the nation in employment growth at 3.8% over the past year. Texas (3.3%), Florida (3.2%), Idaho (2.8%) and Washington (2.6%) rounded out the Top 5. Those statistics, as well as the state rankings for unemployment rate, are taken from July data.

Job growth in metro Las Vegas increased by 0.8% (8,500 jobs), outpacing Reno (0.4%, 1,200 jobs) and Carson City (0.3%, 100 jobs).

“This month’s report continues to reflect Nevada’s strong labor market, continuing to add jobs at one of the fastest rates in the country, while we see an increasing number of people entering the labor market,” according to David Schmidt, chief economist for DETR. “While the unemployment rate rose slightly, the reasons for unemployment and duration of employment people have experienced continues to improve.”

Employment opportunities on the horizon in Las Vegas include openings at Sphere (Sept. 29), Durango Casino & Resort (Nov. 20) and Fontainebleau (December). More jobs will surround special events over the next months, including the Las Vegas Grand Prix Formula One race in November and the Super Bowl in February.