Economic indicators can take any number of shapes and sizes. Some, like the unemployment rate, get an inordinate amount of attention in comparison to their relative importance while others, like business formation, tend to receive only cursory treatment.

Nevada’s unemployment rate stood at 11.6 percent in June, the highest rate in the nation. Notably, the state’s unemployment rate dropped by 2.2 percentage points during the past 12 months, which was the largest decline in unemployment reported for any state.

Loosely translated, the unemployment rate means that 11.6 percent of people who are actively looking for work currently do not have a job. While meaningful, this standard measure excludes frustrated workers who have simply given up their job search and workers who are underemployed, working in lower-level positions or working fewer hours than they would under normal conditions. Along the same lines, the standard unemployment rate also classifies all unemployed workers the same. From an economic standpoint there is a significant difference between a person who has been unemployed for three days, three weeks, three months or three years.

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