(Thomas Mitchell/4THST8) The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation came out this morning with the January unemployment numbers.
The agency says Nevada’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell from a revised 13 percent in December to 12.7 percent in January, down from 13.8 percent a year ago and a peak of 14 percent in October 2010.
“Nevada continues to show signs of economic recovery, with slow but steady growth in many important areas,” a new release quoted Gov. Brian Sandoval. “I continue to be encouraged by the job creation in key sectors as we work to meet the challenge of creating 50,000 jobs by the end of 2014.”
OK, but let’s take a look at the raw numbers. According to non-seasonally adjusted figures, the state’s labor force shed 20,000 workers, while adding only 600 jobs. Somehow the seasonal adjustment computation reports losing only 10,000 from the labor force and adding 6,300 jobs.
According to a recent Reuters story, the government’s seasonal adjustment formula my be broken. The story said several Wall Street economists have crunched the unemployment numbers and now think the millions of jobs lost in the winter of 2008-2009 distorted the government’s adjustments for normal winter lulls. “And when the raw data for jobless rates did not rise as much as expected this winter, the computer programs appear to have over-adjusted the data downward, resulting in big drops in unemployment,” the report says.
Browse the numbers yourself: Jan.12_jobstats
Read the DETR press release: January_rate_release_12.7