Good Points on Joblessness

I’ve been meaning to write something about how Las Vegas’ jobless rates hide the increase in total jobs created, because of our population growth. If that doesn’t make much sense, read this good analysis by Las Vegas Business Press, excerpted here:

At first glance, the numbers paint a dismal picture. The Las Vegas jobless rate rose 0.3 percent, taking it to 6.8 percent….

The article goes on to point out:

In Las Vegas, employment grew by 3 percent from July 2007 to July 2008. That is, the actual number of people working rose from 905,500 to 932,800.

Statewide, the trend was similar. Nevada’s payrolls grew by 3.1 percent from July 2007 to July 2008. In raw numbers, the number of people drawing paychecks increased from 1.27 million to 1.31 million.

How is all this possible? How can unemployment numbers increase while the number of people working also increase?

It’s called in-migration, and Nevada has been among the leaders for years.
In other words, every month roughly 5,000 people move to Las Vegas, seeking a better life and a better job. Many, in fact, arrive with no job — just the hope that prospects here are better and their chance of landing work is more favorable than wherever they came from.

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