For the 18th consecutive month, the state unemployment rate has declined, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The seasonally adjusted rate now stands at 9.7 percent for January.
"We should feel good about things," said UNLV economics professor Stephen Brown. "Our economy is very dependent on tourism, gaming, hospitality, construction and real estate, and we've seen very favorable trends, particularly in construction and real estate."
While the state unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, the Las Vegas rate is 10 percent. But if you factor in those who are underemployed or have given up looking for work, the rate is much higher, Brown admitted.
"The number would be about 20 percent," he said.
At the DETR office on Maryland Parkway, Monica Takayama experienced anther frustrating day looking for work.
"Soon it will be two years," she said. Takayama, a medical biller, said she has applied for dozens of jobs since she hit the unemployment line in 2011. "To date, not a nibble," she said.
Gloria Owens has had a better experience. Unemployed since October, she just secured a new job and starts on Tuesday working with the elderly.
"I am happy, very happy," she said.
Brown believes with the seasonal hiring and the other positive indicators, the trend to lower unemployment is well under way.
In the meantime, Takayama can only hope her day to find a job will come soon.
"I don't want to be homeless, just looking for a job to make ends meet," she said.
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