After the unemployment rate in Elko County briefly jumped to 4.2 percent in January 2018, it has declined for three straight months to 3.4 percent in April. That ranks as the second-lowest unemployment level among all Nevada counties. The lower unemployment rate is not the result of increasing employment but rather a smaller labor force, which reported year-over-year declines in three straight months and in five of the past seven months. In April 2018, the labor force decreased by 2.3 percent from the year prior, while total employment declined by 2.0 percent to 25,788.
Total private sector wages earned in 2017 grew by 5.2 percent from 2016, fueled by the two best quarters for total wages in Elko County since 2012. Consumer spending indicators also reported positive trends. The trailing 12-month total of taxable retail sales grew year-over-year for three straight months through March 2018 following a 13-month streak of decline. Elko County gross gaming revenue in the 12 months through April 2018 climbed 6.9 percent year over year to $288.0 million, marking 14 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
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