Las Vegas Metro Area Unemployment Up Nearly 3 Percent In May

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the Metro Las Vegas-Paradise area registered the second largest over-the-year jobless rate increases in May, 2.8 percent, just behind Yuma, AZ, which posted a 2.9 percent increase.

The next largest rate increases were Yuba City, Calif. (+2.6 percentage points), and Carson City, Nev. (+2.5 points). Seven other areas reported rate increases of 2.0 percentage points or more. Two Indiana areas posted the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decreases: Kokomo (-6.6 percentage points) and Elk-hart-Goshen (-4.8 points). Four additional areas reported rate decreases of at least 2.0 percentage points.

Unemployment rates were higher in May than a year earlier in 222 of the 372 metropolitan areas, lower in 141 areas, and unchanged in 9

areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirteen areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while 9 areas registered rates below 5.0 percent. The national unemployment rate in May was 9.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, compared with 9.1 percent a year earlier.

Fed Sees Recovery Continuing, But Slowly

According to the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) the economic recovery is proceeding and that the labor market is improving gradually. Household spending is increasing but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.

The FOMC’s report said “Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance, largely reflecting developments abroad. Bank lending has continued to contract in recent months. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be moderate for a time.”

The FOMC report said “Prices of energy and other commodities have declined somewhat in recent months, and underlying inflation has trended lower. With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.”

(c)2002-2009 Stern And Company