While Elko County’s long-term trend of declining employment has continued, the decline has slowed recently. As of April 2017, the trailing 12-month average was only 13 jobs below where it was for the same period last year. Despite the stagnating levels of overall employment, Elko County’s unemployment rate has steadily declined, registering 3.5 percent in April. This ranked as the second-best mark in the state behind only Eureka County’s 3.0 percent and fell well below the state average of 4.7 percent. These contradictory numbers are partially explained by Elko County’s slowly shrinking labor force, which is likely a result of an aging population and migration to other areas of the state.
Statewide initial unemployment insurance claims have continued to decline, with the trailing 12-month total for April 2017 falling 7.6 percent below last April’s level. Average weekly hours worked by Nevada employees have remained relatively constant for several years, fluctuating in the 33- to 34-hour range. Over the past 12 months, however, that number has grown faster than at any point during the past decade on a trailing 12-month basis, rising 1.5 percent to 34.1 hours in April 2017. Housing in Nevada has continued to show strong price appreciation. The House Price Index for the first quarter of 2017 was 8.9 percent higher than the same period the previous year, ranking Nevada seventh in the nation.
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