Now five months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada remains on a slow path to recovery after being one of the states hit the hardest by this public health crisis. While many economic indicators are beginning to exhibit positive growth trends again, they are still significantly lower relative to their benchmarks from the prior year. On August 3, Governor Sisolak introduced Nevada’s long-term recovery plan. The plan shifts away from a phased reopening approach to a long-term strategy, increasing enforcement by targeting specific zip codes and individual businesses that are not compliant with COVID-19 mitigation measures. The intent of this new plan is to keep more businesses open and avoid broad closures of whole industries. With the number of positive cases still high despite a recent downward trend, state and business leaders are prioritizing containment measures in order to keep the public safe.

Employment trends have continued to improve slightly as Nevada’s labor market benefits from the re-opening of the economy, experiencing positive growth moving into August. The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 15.2 percent in June to 14.0 percent in July. This is a sustained decline from the highest rate ever recorded in the state during April, more than double its current level at 30.1 percent. The most recent period’s gains can be attributed to the addition of 14,800 jobs this month, 3,900 of which came from the professional and business services sector. This marks the third straight month that jobs have been added to the Nevada economy. Despite this, the unemployment rate remains 4 percentage points higher than the current national average and 10.1 percentage points higher than where it stood in July 2019.

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